Local Faces: The Dayla Family
DAYLA & James Pettit, the 4th Generation family-owned Drinks Distributor and Wine Merchants is truly very much rooted in Wendover. It was Joseph Holland Senior who owned and ran The Red Lion Hotel, The King & Queen and former King’s Head and who also ran the Wendover Maltings Brewery that established a family tradition of a lifetime in the drinks trade. He also built Wendover School (next to the Clock Tower, now domestic dwellings) was a Wine & Spirit Merchant, a Meal & Corn Merchant, ran the Masonic Lodge and somehow, along the way, found time to have 10 children.
His son, also Joseph, ran the Brewery until 1914 when he sold it to Aylesbury Brewery Company upon joining up to serve in the First World War. On his return, on 1st May 1919, he bought North & Randall Limited, a Mineral Water Manufacturer at the foot of the High Street in Aylesbury. Joe ran the business with his sister Miss Ellen (Nellie) Holland and was joined in 1948 by his son-in-law Richard (Dick) Cooper who then went on to build the well-known Soft Drinks range under the name of DAYLA following a highly successful national launch back in the 1960s of an iconic soft drink from South Africa called HUBBLY BUBBLY. The name DAYLA actually stands for (D)ick’s (AYL)esbury (A)gency. Joseph Holland was also Mayor of Aylesbury.
Today, 100 years on from when Joe bought it, DAYLA & James Pettit is an award-winning £35million business with a portfolio of more than 4500 products across all types of drinks, serving over 2000 Pubs, Clubs, Bars, Restaurants and Hotels across the Home Counties, and beyond. Today Joe’s family are all still very much in evidence.
At the helm is his grandson Tim Cooper, Managing Director, who in turn is joined by his own sister and brother-in-law Sue and Pete Lapham. The next generation are firmly installed with Tim’s son Daniel as Commercial Director, Kaz his daughter as Head of Design and from the Lapham stable, James Lapham (Sue & Pete’s son) IT & Finance Director with Sarah Lapham, their other son Chris`s wife, assisting behind the scenes on many special projects. So the family dynasty still very much carries on from the days when Tim and Sue’s parents, Dick and Pat Cooper, together with Pat’s sister, Joan Macmillan, established the business on a very firm footing, thereby allowing it to grow into the all-round drinks operation that it is today, supporting many local causes and events, since Wendover and the surrounding areas have been so important to the company’s success.
There is never a dull moment in this family operation with new business coming on stream all the time and an ever evolving portfolio of World Beers and Cask Ales, Craft Beer, Wines, Premium Spirits and of course Soft Drinks. In addition, there is also James Pettit which is the wine arm of DAYLA and was formerly owned by Aylesbury Brewery Company. DAYLA has grown both organically and through a number of acquisitions, though never lost its family principles and even today from the 110 staff there are a further 11 families working within the business giving it such a unique and special flavour. Working with more than 120 Suppliers means that life is never quiet at DAYLA and with the emergence of different drinking trends, they have to be ahead of the game and identify the next new taste . . . GIN has been massive and its popularity continues to grow. DAYLA now carries more than 300 Gin Brands with Rum being tipped as the next big winner. Low and Non-Alcoholic Drinks are also gaining momentum with some great tasting beers making impressive headway.
So what next, we ask? Well independence is very much at the core of this family business with DAYLA being very much a way of life for them all, rather than being regarded as a job of work. It will continue to offer a forever changing range of quality drinks and added value services. The Family already have a number of ideas for the next chapter, but very much at the cutting edge of the drinks world . . . so no resting on its laurels. And today the DAYLA family still lives in Wendover and frankly couldn`t imagine being anywhere else!! The late Richard Cooper OBE (Mr DAYLA) would have delighted in continuing to quote his own special catchphrase HAVE A NICE DAYLA!!