Sam Neill retiring after more than 40 years
March 23, 2011, Canada – After more than 40 years in the industry, Sam Neill, president of Vending Products of Canada, is retiring.
Neill, along with Greg and Jeff Suitor of Brokerhouse Distributors, founded Vending Products of Canada 12 years ago. Since its launch, the company has grown to include four branches and has established itself as a top supplier to the vending and office coffee service (OCS) markets.
Neill was born in Belfast, Ireland in September 1941. He got his start at Winnipeg’s Pells Restaurant Supply in 1968. The next year, Stuart’s Branded Coffee acquired Pells. The company became Stuart’s Branded Foods in 1973, and Neill was transferred to Toronto. In 1974, he took over Stuart’s vending and OCS portfolio, overseeing 16 branches involved in the emerging OCS market.
Stuart’s was taken over by the Slater Family of Weschler Coffee Co. in 1979, and became Goodhost Foods. Another takeover in 1984, this time by Nestle Canada, saw the company grow further through acquisitions of Rowntree and Carnation.
Neill stayed on with Nestle Canada until his first retirement in the fall of 1998, at the age of 58. Just a year later, he came out of retirement to launch Vending Products of Canada.
Neill and his wife Judy have been married for 47 years. They have three children – Jeff, Debbie and Brad – and two grandchildren, named Taylor and Jackson.