Our History

A Timeline of Our History


In 1859 Alfred Towers aged 21 opened his own pork butchers shop at 60 Praed Street, Paddington, London. By 1869 Alfred had opened his second and third shop and conducted trade with Smithfield Market which opened in 1868.


In 1870 he became a pork wholesaler himself taking space in part of Cox and Dennise’s shop 114 in Smithfield market.


Following the death of his father, Alfred took control of all the family business and went into partnership with other food wholesalers to take advantage of London’s growing population.


In 1878 success was achieved when a shipment of frozen meat from South America arrived at Le Havre. While the first shipments of frozen meat had arrived from Australia and the Americas, able minds in New Zealand set about pursuing the potential overseas market of Britain.


In 1894 Alfred Towers acquired a lease of the ground floor of Paul’s Pier Wharf, a riverside warehouse in Upper Thames Street, with a capacity of around 300 tons.


In 1897 Alfred died following a world tour visiting suppliers. His estate subsequently divided between family members and business partners.


In 1898 this resulted in the formation of Towers & Co Limited and with the registration number of 58397 remains today as one of the oldest limited companies in England and wales.


After different shareholdings by New Zealand domiciled companies the company was acquired by Hillsdown Holdings in 1985. Hillsdown Holdings Plc was a public company grown and developed by two entrepreneurs David Thompson and Harry Solomon. During Hillsdown ownership the company was merged with other companies within the Hillsdown Group. A key trading company in the merger was B.Thompson managed by Alan Thompson. As part of the internal reorganisation the company was rebranded as “Towers Thompson”.


In 1998, exactly a 100 years after the Company was formed Towers & Co Ltd was purchased under a Management Buy Out led by Alan Thompson, Terry Goddard, Paul Dolan and others operating under the banner Towers Thompson Holdings Limited.

Jan 2007

The Far East Division, which specialises in exporting meat and poultry by-products was added to the business.

Mar 2007

Towers then acquired Rassau Seafood GmbH, German Seafood Importers based in Hamburg.

Jun 2008

Significant investment was made to create a purpose built new Wholesale Meat /Distribution Depot in Northfleet, Kent to supply retail butchers in the South East of England.

Apr 2010

We established a new imported seafood operation in the UK “Towers Thompson Seafood”.

Jun 2016

We invested in new purpose built facilities for our trading operation in Hoddesdon Hertfordshire.

Sep 2017

Towers Thompson Trading were accredited to BRC Agents and Brokers standard.


The company today remains a highly diversified energetic meat, poultry and Seafood company with operations covering seafood and meat importing, along with a UK based meat wholesale operation. We think that Alfred Towers himself would be pleased to see the Company still flourishing since he opened his first Butchers shop in 1859.

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Since the Covid19 pandemic emerged our UK based Trading, Exports and Depots operations together with our German operation Rassau Seafoods have continually introduced measures to address the fast-evolving situation. The continued health and safety of our colleagues working in very difficult circumstances remains a key priority for the business and the management.

Therefore, as a responsible business we have introduced a wide range of measures including increased awareness, promotion of good hygiene practices, posters, distribution of hand sanitisers, masks, shields as well as the provision of other PPE equipment. Temperature checks have also been introduced as well as distancing measures. We have worked closely with our suppliers of products and services to find practical solutions in order to continue to deliver product to our customers as safely and effectively as possible.

We have compiled the steps that we have been taking to assess and mitigate the risks in Risk Assessments covering our UK based Trading and Depot Wholesale Operations. These comprehensive assessments are on display at each of our UK locations.

Towers Thompson will take the appropriate actions to continue providing our employees a safe and healthy working environment whilst constantly evaluating the situation and monitoring any changes in government policy and guidelines.