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Friends deliver jobs and growth; IN THE COMPANY OF... Tony Parry and Simon Walker are managing directors at Delsol.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES Business Correspondent

AFORMER pub boss and a retailer came together to take on a delivery company that now employs 125 staff.

Tony Parry and Simon Walker first met in a bar on Anglesey and were friends for 10 years before an opportunity came up to go into business together.

Backed by the bank they jumped at the opportunity to take on a delivery firm and have never looked back.

From a firm of eight staff in 1999 Delsol expanded to become a hugely successful delivery business based in Caernarfon and Sandycroft with a multi-million pound turnover.

Simon said: "When I left school I had two aims - one was to set up my own despatch company, and the other was to be in a jazz band.

"I've achieved both, as I am also the lead singer and guitarist in The Silverback Band.

"I began a career in retail, with McColls newsagents group, working across North Wales.

THE CV "While it gave me experience in dealing with people, and how to manage staff, it was never going to be a FULL NAME Tony Parry, 49, and Simon Walker, 51 long-term career.

"My father was selfemployed FAMILY Tony lives in Llandudno and has three children. Simon lives in Tregarth with wife Ann. They have three sons.

and ran his own business, with the sub post office and shop, so I always wanted to be selfemployed. I set up a motorbike despatch company in 1989, and that grew into vans, parcels and pallets, before I moved on."

CAREERS Simon worked in retail while Tony was a pub boss before going into business.

Tony added: "As a youngster I either wanted to be an astronaut or a pilot, but I started out in engineering, following in the footsteps of my dad and older brother.

"I didn't have an ambition to be in business myself and while at college I worked part time at Henllys Hall Hotel. After that I worked for the Bulkeley Arms in Beaumaris for two years, then I got my own pub, the Castle Hotel in Caernarfon, running as a manager for Bass Taverns.

"Then I went to the Plumes, now the Townhouse, in Llandudno. The career change came because I realised it wasn't just a job, it was a lifestyle and it wasn't suiting me, so I looked for something new, and started working for a courier company."

They first met in 1989 when Tony was bar manager at The Bulkeley Arms in Beaumaris.

Simon said: "We were friends for 10 years before we started Delsol. At that time I was actually working for another transport company, in Chester."

Tony said: "Delsol began in 1999 - I was working for a despatch company when the boss decided after 18 months that he was going to sell it.

"The choice, for me, was being made redundant or doing something about it. The opportunity arose - and a business plan was hatched.

"We scraped PS10,000 together through our families and business contacts - Barclays Bank matchfunded that. Right from the start we had great support from the bank."

Simon said: "That gave us PS20,000 working capital, so we had enough to pay staff wages and put fuel in the vehicles for a couple of months. The company then had a turnover of about PS300,000 and we had eight staff."

Tony added: "Everything else we needed we hired, such as the vans and the office, in a small industrial estate in Bethesda."

Simon's role is making sure they have adequate funds and facilities for everybody else to do their job, supported by Mark Hughes, the company fleet manager.

Tony said: "In this business, there's no format to a day, every day is different, which keeps you going. You never know what will happen when you open the door, or what the day will bring. I concentrate more on IT, promotion and marketing, and liaise with sales and customer service.

you a company owner, manager director in North Would you like little time in the Business. Post? Twitter: DPBUSINESSWALEs "However, the business is set up to run without us.

"While our staff are dealing with current operations, we look further ahead, so we are now planning for the New Year."

The main developments over the last 12 months are joining the Hazchem network, and building their new pallet and loading warehouse at Sandycroft.

In Caernarfon they resurfaced the entrance road and refurbished the building, plus the addition of a 20,000 sq ft warehouse.

Are or Wales? to spend a company of Contact us via Overall across the two offices in the past year there's been a PS350,000 investment in the company - and that's not including the vehicles. Tony said: "We are always developing the company, for example we are looking at expanding the same day operations, and we have a very active sales team, who are always looking at where and how we can gain new customers.

"I am proud of our loyal workforce and it still gives me a buzz seeing our trucks on the roads."

THE QUICKFIRE FIVE Expansion plans? 1 We are expanding the same-day and Hazchem services, we believe there is enough scope within the geography that we cover to expand in a managed way.

Staff plans? 2 We have 125 staff and will be taking on temporary drivers for Christmas.

Biggest thrill? 3 Driving down the road and seeing our trucks.

What makes you proud? 4 Knowing that we are giving so many people good, steady, incomes.

Award success? 5 The Daily Post Business Awards Large Business Award in 2013.

THE CV FULL NAME Tony Parry, 49, and Simon Walker, 51 FAMILY Tony lives in Llandudno and has three children. Simon lives in Tregarth with wife Ann. They have three sons.

CAREERS Simon worked in retail while Tony was a pub boss before going into business.

y| Are you a company owner, manager or director in North Wales? Would you like to spend a little time in the company of Business Post? Contact us via Twitter: DPBUSINESSWALEs
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 7, 2016
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