Alex was barely a twinkle in his parents’ eyes when the family business began. Alec and Barbara MacArthur opened their first fruit and vegetable retail shop in 1980 and The Lemon Tree was born. The opening of a second shop, as well as placements in a number of Kwik Save stores soon followed.
As time went by, Alec and Barb realised that there was more money to be made supplying the foodservice sector and so sold the shops and opened up as a fresh produce wholesaler and delivery company, operating from a warehouse unit in Crosby, North Liverpool.
By this time, Alex was moving into his teens and the prospects of a Saturday job and school holiday employment in the business was too appealing to turn down. This casual working arrangement continued right throughout his time in education, including the university years where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in French studies at the University of Leeds.
Before teaming up with his parents, Alex decided to try something different and took a job working as a facilities manager for a FTSE 100 company, Land Securities. This involved managing a portfolio of Government office buildings, providing services to the civil service tenants such as M&E, cleaning, H&S, security, and more. Alex did this for 2 years before deciding to take a break and go travelling.
On his return, Alex found himself without a job and a credit card bill to pay. His father was swift in getting Alex back in to work at The Lemon Tree and although Alex had learnt a lot already, Alec was keen to show him all other aspects of the business as he had desires to pass the company on to his son. It was soon agreed that Alex would buy his parents out and take control of The Lemon Tree and in May 2007, the deal was signed.
Over the next 8 years, Alex managed to build the business up to a considerable size, supplying some of the top restaurants and hotels in the North West with not only fresh produce, but also dairy products, bakery products, dry goods, and other sundries. The Lemon Tree name became synonymous with quality and our reputation was envied across the sector.
In 2015, The Lemon Tree Produce Ltd was sold to one of its suppliers, Total Produce Plc and Alex left to work with another of his suppliers Bates Farms & Dairy Ltd in a varied role supporting the directors in sales, recruitment, operations, purchasing, and more. After approximately 1 year, Alex left to join a manufacturer in Liverpool, WJ Leech & Sons Ltd, as the Operations Manager.
The entrepreneur spirit had never left Alex however and it was not long before he felt the need to go back into self-employment. After some soul searching, Alex realised that his true passion for business in general was something he’d like to explore further and so One Up Consultancy Ltd was born.