About Kitto’s Hams
Suppliers of fine cooked hams based in Devon supplying the whole of the UK
Peter Kitto and Norman Walker founded the Peter Kitto Cooked Meat Company in 1986 and based the business at Cattedown, Plymouth where it has remained ever since. Peter had made hams throughout his career as a Master Butcher (he actually began making hams in his garden shed!) whereas Norman had previously been in business as a cheese retailer. Their partnership flourished with Norman's marketing knowledge complementing Peter's manufacturing expertise. In the early days they produced not only cooked hams but also Roast Pork, Garlic Sausage, Haslet and Pastrami.
A decision was made to concentrate solely on the production of high quality cooked gammon hams and Kitto's were soon supplying customers as far away as The Midlands and North Wales. Sadly Peter succumbed to cancer in 1997 but his recipes and methods still remain in use by the company today. In the early days the hams produced were nearly all sold as whole hams and a high percentage were "on-the-bone" whereas nowadays only a small percentage are sold as bone-in hams and an increasing quantity of the company's produce is supplied sliced and vacuum packed to the customer. The vast majority of the staff have been with Kitto's for many years and we feel this gives our customers a certain reassurance in that our staff have built up an immense amount of experience in the manufacture of quality hams.
In August 2003 Richard Davy joined the company initially as General Manager to allow Norman to ease towards retirement but within weeks Norman recognised that Richard was well equipped to succeed him as MD and to take Kitto's forwards. Richard's family have been involved in the meat trade for three generations and although only in his mid forties he came to Kitto's with twenty five years worth of management experience in various sectors of the meat trade.
Richard's remit on taking over the day-to-day running of the company was to look at ways of taking the company forward and to hopefully expand the business by increasing the customer base and by possibly introducing some new products to the Kitto's range. Great strides were soon taken to this end and one of the most important moves was to involve all of the staff in fine-tuning quality standards to ensure that the company could produce not only good quality hams but also that those hams were incredibly consistent in terms of texture, flavour and size. The changes made soon bore fruit in that the company's turnover increased from £690,000 in the year ended March 2003 to £900,000 in the year ended March 2006. By 2013 the company now turns over £1.75 million.
Awards 2003 - 2005
The West Country Honey Roast Ham developed by Kitto's in December 2003 is proving to be a major success, particularly to the foodservice sector and already accounts for over 12% of the company's sales. Incidentally, this ham gained a Gold Award at the prestigious "Great Tate Awards" held at Olympia, London in September 2005 and further success was had in that Kitto's Finest Devon Ham picked up a Silver Award at the same ceremony.
2006 - 2012
To cope with the early growth in the business Richard sought out Tina Dow to fill a role as General Manager in 2006 with a view to her fulfilling all of the day-to-day aspects of the business such as ongoing sales, personnel management, production planning and data input so that he could concentrate more fully on long-term objectives and further growth. Tina has been so successful in her role that Richard elevated her to the board of directors after completing his buyout of the previous shareholders in 2012.
Having achieved significant growth over the past few years the company has just finished an extension to its current site which has doubled its production capacity.
Apart from offering its customers its range of quality gammon hams the company is always happy to work together with customers to develop recipes which produce hams to suit both their taste and their pocket.