Tributes paid to East End Foods’ co-founder
One of the founders of East End Foods, Don Wouhra, has died after a short illness.
His family paid tribute to the businessman, describing him as a “kind, generous and larger than life character”.
Don, who was 59, died on May 10. He was the youngest of five brothers and alongside Trilok, Tony, Jas and David, launched the business in 1972.
East End Foods started canning chickpeas and kidney beans before the brothers opened a small store in Wolverhampton, stocking raw ingredients and dried goods to supply the demand for Asian flavours.
The business grew quickly and today is a £200m-turnover wholesaler that employs 350 people and supplies independent Asian grocery stores through to major supermarkets.
The Wouhra family sold the business to Exponent Private Equity last year for an undisclosed sum, with the deal completing in November.
Tributes were paid from across the industry, including those posted on Twitter by Regal UK’s managing director Chris Hughes and Boost Drinks founder Simon Gray.
Just seen the terrible news that Don Wouhra of East End Foods has passed away after a short illness. My deepest condolences to all the Wouhra family.
— Chris Hughes (@chrisregalbd) May 14, 2020
Can’t believe the news about Don Wouhra. What a huge loss to so many people. Still have fond memories of being driven round Smethwick retailers in the early days in the back of his Mercedes. A true legend, a true gent, a true mentor and a true friend….he will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/CALIwQKFFR
— Simon Gray (@simongrayboost) May 15, 2020
In a statement posted on a JustGiving page raising money for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity in memory of Don, the family said: “Anytime you visited Don you learnt to arrive with an empty stomach, as he loved to cook and throw a barbecue, whatever the weather.
“Don loved and lived for his work at East End Foods and was well known and respected by many people in the business.
“Holding strong family values, Darshan was immensely proud of his children, Rohit and Simran and his wife Ravinder. He will forever be in their hearts and memory. Taken too young from this world, as his legacy, lets remember the good times and save a place at the barbecue for Don.”