How it all started...

Prestige Primeurs evolved as a Phoenix from the ashes of one of the oldest Fruit and Vegetable suppliers in London, JM Turnell & Co. Michael McMahon founder of Prestige learnt his craft in the cut and thrust of the Old Covent Garden market, and then when it moved to Nine Elms, Vauxhall.

The culture of supply was changing rapidly and there was a different Ethos in the new market. It seemed as though the source of most of the products was now being controlled by the supermarkets and thus the business of purchasing the quality suitable for the top end of the catering world was proving to be more difficult. New Covent Garden Market had lost the biggest buyers who were now going direct to the growers and importers who were also dictating what was grown and where it went.

Mike, who at this time was Sales Manager for Turnell started a run to Rungis in Paris to purchase goods from the French market where there was now much more variety. Demand meant that Turnell then opened two country depots to satisfy the increasing expansion of hotels outside London. As was inevitable, others soon joined the provision of this service and competition drove prices down. Suppliers became obsessed with volume to justify margins which were too low. Companies began to fall with a domino effect as overheads overtook profits. Turnell was one of them.

The concept of a niche supplier was therefore a risky experiment in a climate governed by price, nevertheless Mike took the chance and Prestige was launched more in hope than expectancy. Fortunately there were some loyal and courageous clients and staff of the old company who supported the new enterprise and sixteen years later the portfolio base consists of many of these establishments. They survive because of the demand for the best ingredients and service. They have maintained the highest standard of cuisine, the criteria for longevity in a business where the failure record is legend and in a society where convenience food has become the norm.

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