Lewis & Rose, two best friends, L&R… A business partnership built around offering a quality service with integrity & honesty at the heart of the operation. It was about providing a local & reliable service to businesses in and around Birmingham & the wider Midlands area.
The business plan was simple, do not let your clients down, be there when needed, strive to be the best and to make enough money to ensure they could provide for their families.
1986 was a memorable year in my household, Maradona was playing God, Lionel Richie was Dancing on the Ceiling and L&R Services were open for business. It was a different business back then, it was not until 2002 that the storage element of the business really took off, but it was ‘86 when the L&R journey was just beginning.
I compare running a family business to being on a roller coaster, the ups and downs, you’re in control, you’re going too fast, it’s enthralling, it’s electrifying, it’s terrifying. I have been on the rollercoaster since I was nine years old; there are no height restrictions when it comes to your family business! In truth, I used to love the summer holidays ‘working’ with my Dad and Uncle.
For 23 years it’s been an integral part of my life, I never thought that one day the roller coaster would have to stop and my Dad and Uncle would have to get off.
On Friday 5th June 2015 the roller coaster did stop.
There has been a lot of movement and acquisitions in the Records Management industry in the past couple of years. Often when these acquisitions take place, the purchaser is buying the contact list and archive boxes of the seller, with little regard for the business history, ethos or its people. We would often receive letters asking about a sale, but the letters would only describe how great the interested party were, how big they were and how much money they had spent on acquisitions so far.
The letter we received from Tom Coates of H.W Coates was different. It was polite, eloquent and articulated how L&R’s history and people were vital in the future of the business. After many meetings and long discussions Dave & Gerry agreed to let their baby out into the big wide world and sell their stake in L&R.
I like to think that good things happen to good people, it may be naivety or it may be a belief that my family installed in me, but we couldn’t have found a better company to be working with. H.W Coates, they have been trading for over 50 years and have built a wonderful family business that shares a similar ethos to L&R.
On Friday 5th June I became the Managing Director of L&R Storage, a proud, exciting, emotional and tearful occasion, my first task… well I sacked Dave & Gerry of course! I am joking and in all seriousness they can be immensely proud of building the best records management business in Birmingham.
L&R are still here and the future is bright. I promise to lead with the same values, the same vision and passion to drive the business forward with my fellow shareholder, directors and wonderful team. Dave will still be around; I still need his advice and 30 years experience, although he will only be purchasing the odd day ticket at the theme park now.
L&R – Local and reliable, Lewis & Rose. The name and the history lives on, this is just a new chapter in our exciting & evolving storage story.