After hearing the incredibly sad news of Sir Ken Morrison’s passing, Walnut Creative would like to pay tribute by talking about just how valuable Ken was to Yorkshire business and how he will forever provide a good example to local businesses and entrepreneurs alike.

Ken Morrison was responsible for growing the Morrisons supermarket into one of the biggest UK retailers, due to running the grocery chain from 1956 until 2008, he elevated Morrisons from a small group of shops in Yorkshire to a national grocery chain.  After standing down as chairman in 2008 Sir Ken was knighted in the Millennium New Years honours list, and kept a very close eye on the grocer.

Sir Ken started his work at the age of nine helping his father manage his Bradford market stall, and although Morrisons became one of the biggest supermarkets in the country he never forgot his roots. Sir Ken was highly respected for his no-nonsense approach and was known for his wit, sense of humour and kindness, as well as his tendency to be straight forward and honest.

The Morrisons chain has never offered online shopping, as Sir Ken once famously said that having started out delivering groceries on a bicycle, he had no intention of going back into home delivery. Although this seems to be quite a backwards thinking mindset for a business, Sir Ken always made it work exactly how he wanted it to work, due to his inspirational leading and managing skills. The charming nature of Ken’s no nonsense Yorkshire man down to business personality definitely translated into how the business was run and continues to do so today.

When Sir Ken was asked about the secret of running a successful supermarket, he responded “It’s just taking money off people. And giving them something in return.” This quote really does pay tribute to the mindset of Sir Ken, showcasing his straight to the point and also humorous personality.

At Walnut Creative, we can take inspiration from Sir Ken Morrison and his influential legacy of a successful national business that started out as group of small shops in Yorkshire, and flourished into what it is today. The history of Morrisons shows that no matter who you are or how your business starts, you can be successful with enough drive and passion, as Sir Ken once said “I had no formal education for anything, I learnt my craft at the dining room table with my dad talking about things.”

It has to be said though, our favourite quote by Sir Ken Morrison would definitely have to be “If in doubt, have a cup of tea.”

Glen added: "Morrisons is a huge name both locally and in foodservice, a company that as always been hugely attractive for catering equipment manufacturers to be involved with. Morrisons as developed into a retail giant and continues to innovate to stay in the minds of shoppers continuously. It's always great to see businesses flourish as grow from such a small and humble starting point, it shows that hard work and a little bit of Yorkshire grit can go a very long way, inspirational."

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post.

Team Walnut…A proud Yorkshire Business!