The Wilkinson family has been making kitchenwares since 1888.
The Wilkinson Heritage
The Foundation: Robert Wilkinson
Robert Wilkinson (1838-1899) spent much of his life working in an iron foundry as a metal grinder, which led to his son Luther Wilkinson following him into this trade.
The 2nd Generation: Luther Wilkinson
Luther began selling various metal wares, including bakeware, on Burnley Market in Lancashire, England. In 1887 Luther formed a partnership with a fellow market trader and by 1888 they had founded a large factory to produce their wares – the BEATALL WORKS, Burnley.
The 3rd Generation: George Wilkinson
In 1931 Luther’s son, George founded his own factory George Wilkinson (Burnley) Limited and proceeded to develop his own range of assorted kitchenwares. Their respective factories concentrated on supporting the vital task of food packaging during the war years.
The 4th Generation: Cecil Wilkinson
Cecil, the eldest son of George, ran the family business for many years before the company was sold by the family in 1979 to a London quoted PLC.
The 5th Generation: Ian Wilkinson
Ian had worked his first week in the family owned factory during a school holiday in 1968. Ian ultimately became Manufacturing Director. In 1985 Ian and his eldest brother founded Wilkinson Housewares Limited and this company, at its peak, made more bakeware than any other factory in Europe. Ian sold control of the business and after serving as managing director for several more years, Ian took his experience to Hong Kong and China to found Wilkinson China Limited in Hong Kong and Wilkinson 1888 Ltd in the UK.
The 6th Generation:
Daughters and nephews of Ian have all worked for WILKINSON to gain experience after graduating from university and Ian hopes that, one day, a family member will take up the reigns.
Alice Wilkinson – “Miss Wilkinson” Baking Blogger
Alice is a keen and accomplished, home baker. Alice has a degree in Education, which has proven useful in successfully teaching those new to baking, how to make her original, delectable recipes. She is a valuable asset in testing our bakeware and cookware products in a genuine domestic kitchen. Over 150 of her original recipes are available on her Miss Wilkinson’s blog https://www.facebook.com/misswilkinsonbaking
Sally joined the family business, after a 20 year progressive career, leading on Human Resources, within several global manufacturing and automotive businesses such as Johnson & Johnson, Pilkington NSG and Yazaki. Wilkinson 1888 and the associated operations of Wilkinson China, already enjoy a 133 year old kitchenware heritage, first established by Sally’s Great, Great, Great Grandad.
Sally’s induction into the bakeware and cookware industries began many years ago, as a child, often spending Saturday mornings in the largest bakeware factory in Europe. Work experience was carried out within the Finance function and inspired her to obtain a BSc. Economics before gaining a Post Graduate Diploma in People Leadership & Development and an ensuing career in Human Resources. During maternity leaves, Sally worked for the family business, flying out to China and the USA to support operational improvements and launch one of our inventions, The PushPan, on American shopping channels.
All products that we supply are fully compliant with the relevant industry quality standards. No matter what the customer specification is for our products, our quality assurance and control measures ensure that we deliver on it and at excellent value. Our lean, expert-led UK team works in efficient partnership with our integrated, well-established Chinese vendor-management team.
We respect and uphold our 130 year old reputation, by delivering what we promise to our customers and ensuring responsible manufacturing practices are in place in all our suppliers. We work ethically with our Chinese sister company to include flexible-working arrangements, fair pay & benefits and a profit-share scheme. Consequently, we reap the rewards that come with exceptionally low staff turnover, high engagement, trust and knowledge sharing.
Don’t let the photos of our ancestors trick you into thinking we are stuck in the past. The Wilkinson family have always been at the forefront of award-winning, housewares innovation – that’s why we are still here after over 130 years in the industry. Ian Wilkinson pioneered the world’s very first pre-coated bakeware. This method then spread rapidly across Europe and other parts of the world. The last few years have brought PushPan®, Vulcan®, Baking Brick® into kitchens across the globe and we have more in the pipeline.
“Wilkinson 1888 made the effort to meet face-to-face with us at our Head Office in Illanois, USA. His knowledge and passion for the housewares sector is inspiring and he has an interesting long family story to tell. We only really talked business once he’d got back to his office in China. Quite refreshing”
– Large Retailer, USA
“Many of our innovative products have been born out of a discussion with Ian Wilkinson. He is very giving with his expertise and ideas, even when there’s no apparent financial interest for him”
– Large French Cookware Retailer
“Wilkinson have supplied our fastest growing range of cookware. Their team in China have been consistent and reliable over the last few years and we have awarded further business as a result”
– European supermarket
“Nicole and her team (Guangzhou) are organized and respected by our factory. We have good understanding of each other. We have had a long business (even though) there are other new partner factories in China. They work with us so we are clear on the important standards.”
– Aluminium Fabriction Factory, China
“We have partnered Wilkinson in the development of our own products and licensed patented design concepts to apply to our own beautiful bakeware”
– European Manufacturer
“Wilkinson 1888 managed to both undercut our last supplier and improve the quality 5-fold. We have a strong and open relationship and they have recently, effectively restricted the impact of Chinese factory inflation which was key for the success of our introduction-level ranges”
– Large Retailer, USA
“We have had a great relationship with Wilkinson since 2011. Despite an ongoing agent relationship, the value they have supplied us with to date has been unparalleled”
– Online Retailer, Australia
“We have worked closely with Ian on technical developments for our own bakeware and cookware ranges. We have awarded him certain items of bakeware business to supply under own reputable label where the value and quality required has necessitated alternative sourcing methods and this has been delivered satisfactorily”
– Housewares Manufacturer/Brand Leader, Germany
“As a Distributor, we choose to use Ian for his excellent China-based, vendor management arrangements and strong network of quality Chinese factories. His quotes usually beat those of our customers’ global sourcing teams, even when they are China-based themselves”
– Large Country Distributor (requested anonymity)