ARCHIE Jess, the driving force behind the meat processing business the AP Jess Group, has taken the Lifetime Achievement award in the Greenock Chamber of Commerce Bicentenary Bee’s Knees Awards 2013.
79-year-old Archie continues to play an active role in the family-owned, Scottish-based AP Jess Group, which now has a £20m turnover and includes six trading companies.
He got his first job at the age of 10 in 1943, as a delivery boy. While he was a Co-op manager, a banker who was a regular suggested he could go into business on his own account.
In 1965 he set up shop in Greenock’s Bow Road with a turnover of £8000. With growth and shop acquisitions, by the start of the 70s turnover exceeded £1.5m
He opened his own factory and expanded into wholesale to supply his own shops and others.
He and partners took over the Paisley abattoir. In the 1990s Archie and his sons took over the liquidated McKechnie factory in Greenock.
The group now also has Charcuterie Continental in Twechar, north of Glasgow, and an oyster farm on Barra.