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Meet the Team

Jo Hilliard

Jo Hilliard

Operations and Commercial Director

Jo joined Hilliards straight from college in 1988 and worked in the offices gaining experience in all departments until she left as the call of motherhood knocked on her door blessing her with three wonderful children.

When they were at an age to be independent of their mothers' apron strings, Jo re-joined Hilliards where she took over the role of accounts co-ordinator for Hilliard Brothers (Ewell) Ltd and PA to the directors where she has proved to be a valuable asset.

Jo has also taken on the role of Transport Liaison Officer, ensuring the Hilliard and European Salad Company fleets are always running smoothly and legally, which is an unenviable job in itself with all the legislation directives from the EU.

Calling on her previous experience Jo also helps the sales team when the call arises and has proved that she can competently turn her hand to any task that is presented to her.

2016 has seen Jo promoted through hard work, enthusiasm, ambition and ability to The Operations and Commercial Director working alongside 'The Team' and reporting directly to the Board.

Kevin Smyth

Kevin Smyth

Sales Director

Kevin Smyth started working on his uncles market stall before he left school in the late 1960's and in 1970 began a career at Hilliards that he has enjoyed until the present day.

He worked during the week helping his Uncle Tom with all the daily running of the busy delivery of fruit and vegetables to schools, hospitals and the prison service and still running the market stall in Epsom every Saturday.

When Kevin joined the firm it was named just Hilliard Brothers and in 1978 when Hilliards became a Limited Company he became a Director and took control of the office, sales and smooth running of Hilliard Brother (Ewell) Ltd.

In 1977 he married Debbie who he had known since his school days and later they had three children who have all since progressed to differing and managerial careers.

Through the years Kevin has seen all the changes in sales trends and demand for different types of produce as the British public became aware of other menus introduced by an ever growing ethnic community. From serving Supermarkets to the smallest Corner Store he is well equipped to deal with any enquiry or problem that is thrown at him.

At present he works alongside Jo Hilliard and 'The Team' as Sales Director and Transport Manager overseeing the daily smooth running of the administrative, transport and sales departments of Hilliard Brothers (Ewell) Ltd.

Phil Eccles

Phil Eccles

Sales, IOW Division

Phil joined Hilliards in 2010 when he accepted an offer to buy his own successful catering company based on The Isle of Wight.

Phil's many customers were happy to follow him, to be supplied by the ambitious and successful team headed by Phil at his new and improved facilities at Hilliards especially as this meant cheaper prices with the added buying power and the same superb quality and service that they had become accustomed to. Many of the products are sourced locally on the Isle of Wight and supplied to his customers freshly cut or gathered within 12 hours.

Phil started his career as a chef after qualifying and running his own kitchens in class establishments, so he fully understands the daily requirements and problems faced by chefs in this demanding and stressful roll.

Since joining Hilliards, Phil has kept and expanded his customer base to include supplying catering companies who provide the catering services at many of the yearly festivals held throughout England and The Isle of Wight. 

Jamie Hulse

Jamie Hulse

Always Remembered

Jamie Hulse…. Always Remembered.


Ever since he could remember, Jamie had worked in the fruit and vegetable industry and as soon as he could lift a bag of carrots he worked for his father who ran his own successful fruit and vegetable wholesalers serving retailers and schools. Jamie gained valuable insights into all aspects of running a company and learned that hard work, knowledge gained and experience were all valuable assets that would stand him in good stead for his future within the trade that was in his blood.

Working for his father was never easy as he was a hard task-master and although being sacked more than once, always got his job back and continued to accept the constant ‘thick ears’ that his father insisted was all a part of the learning process of being a good businessman.

Ambition and determination was the driving force that made Jamie change direction and branched out into other aspects of the industry by becoming a salesman on a stand in The New Covent Garden Market and although successful and gaining a lot of experience, turned out to be not what he had hoped.

Still very ambitious Jamie learned of an opening in an already successful business being Hilliards.

After meeting with Tom Hilliard, they decided to form a partnership that has proved to be very successful and allowed Jamie to bring all his ideas and ambitions into full fruition.

As soon as Jamie took control he changed the company’s direction away from serving the larger supermarkets that were all dropping supply away from the smaller wholesalers and market purchasing towards central distribution from their own distribution centres.

Jamie started on the long road to serving independent Supermarkets, Farm Shops and independent retail outlets which after gaining the trust through reliability, consistently great pricing and supplying quality produce he proved that Hilliards was the supplier every good retailer wanted to purchase from.

Jamie had always proved the point that taking away the ever mounting cost of staff, vehicle maintenance expenses and worry about buying the freshest produce, can make a retailers business very cost effective and profitable.

Jamie had taken the company forward from strength to strength and had recently earned Hilliards the accreditation of the BRC standard which is highly sought by all businesses in the fruit and vegetable industry. He was also involved in the daily running and development of all the other companies associated with Hilliards being European Salad Company, based in The New Covent Garden Market and Rungis, Paris and Premiere Direct Marketing based in Portsmouth.

Unfortunately due to a tragic accident, Jamie’s work history must end here, but not the legacy of his ambitions, drive and professionalism that he instilled throughout Hilliards.

He set standards and practices which are still strictly adhered to and we are sure that his memory will live on at Hilliards as the legend that he earned in life.