Hundreds celebrate at ‘Bean Bash’ as Masteroast toasts 30 years in business

Around 300 guests from the coffee industry – and beyond – have joined leading private label coffee roaster and packer Masteroast to celebrate an impressive 30 successful years in business. VIPs from all over the world descended on the company’s HQ in Peterborough on Friday 30 September to attend the Masteroast ‘Bean Bash’ – a special party held to mark the milestone anniversary of the establishment of the business by Les Mills and his wife Eve, three decades previously on 5th October 1981.

Several high profile guests were in attendance, including the Conservative peer and former Government minister Lord Mawhinney, and Barry Fry, the Director of Football at Masteroast’s local club, Championship side Peterborough United.

Also toasting Masteroast’s 30 years in the trade were the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Paula Thacker MBE. She was joined by senior figures from leading coffee producing countries, including Jamaican high commissioner H.E. Anthony Jackson, who delighted the assembled throng by performing a masterful rendition of an old Jamaican song, extolling the delights of a cup of coffee.

Other producer countries represented included Papua New Guinea, Colombia, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Colombia.

Amid the celebrations there was a pause as Lord Mawhinney, who is the Baron of Peterborough and a former MP for the town, unveiled Masteroast’s new hi-tech roastery – an investment designed to ensure the company remains at the cutting edge of the coffee industry for many more years to come.

Speaking to the assembled guests he paid tribute to Masteroast’s achievements over the past 30 years, highlighting how the company now roasts coffee for one in every nine cups of coffee drunk out of home in the UK. “It is a remarkable record,” he said.

Barry Fry, one of football’s most colourful and best-loved characters came along with manager Darren Ferguson and some of the first team players. Barry was equally effusive in his praise for Masteroast. “It was lovely to come to see one of the most – if not the most – successful businesses in Peterborough today. It’s fantastic for the people of Peterborough. If Peterborough United is half as successful as Masteroast has been, we’ll be delighted!”

One particularly special invitee was Diane Wilson, widow of Chris Wilson who, as proprietor of Luckin’s traditional grocery store in Great Dunmow, Essex, gave Masteroast (or Ecobev as it was then called) its first ever order, of several 30lb sacks of roasted coffee beans, on its first day of trading.

Commenting after the party, Les Mills said: “The Bean Bash was the perfect way to mark 30 wonderful years in business and we were delighted so many people could join us in our celebrations. We were particularly pleased to have Diane here. That first order from her late husband Chris 30 years ago was the launch-pad that helped us to get where we are today.”

He added: “My wife Eve and I are very proud of what we’ve achieved since that life-changing day in 1981 when we started the company. We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful and loyal customers and suppliers or without our incredibly hard-working and talented team here at Plantation House. So this birthday party was our way of saying thank you to all of them – and to look forward to another 30 successful years in business!”