Thika Couple Who Risked Entire Savings & Built Multi-Million UK Company

Aerial View of Cofresh Company in Leicester UK in 2020
Aerial View of Cofresh Company in Leicester, UK, in 2020.

Dineshbhai Patel and his wife Savitaben Patel risked their entire savings and profits from sales in Nairobi to invest in a snack business in Leicester, UK.

Patel, who was born in Thika around 1941, spent all his earnings on establishing Cofresh Snack Foods, a manufacturer of savoury Indian snacks in Leicester.

The couple transformed their home into a multi-million company attracting clients from over 60 countries.

Their Story in Kenya

Dineshbhai Patel and his wife Savitaben Patel holding a packet of snack made by Cofresh
Dineshbhai Patel and his wife Savitaben Patel after winning Queens Award in April 2021.

Patel and Savitaben found Cofresh in Nairobi in 1965, with its customer base being local cinemas and shops. They supplied the shops with potato crisps.

After gaining ground in the country, Patel and Savitaben relocated to the UK, investing all their life savings in a fish and chip shop.

They later set up a manufacturing hub in their little house, making snacks. They focused on making traditional handmade spicy peanuts and green peas in the UK.

The traditional handmade spicy peanuts packed in small pouches became popular with customers and retailers alike. According to numerous reports, the couple met the increasing demand for authentic snacks.

Peanuts to Multi-million Company

Peanuts and green peas helped the couple form a multi-million-pound brand, making Cofresh a global supplier.

The company ran for 50 years under family ownership, with Patel and Savitaben bringing on board their children.

Cofresh's expansion benefited locals employing over 250 people in Leicester and Nuneaton.

In 2020, Patel allowed private equity to acquire the company. They, however, supported its operations, including visiting and giving the new managers advice to run the company.

On Saturday, April 8, Patel passed on at 81.

"A thoroughly humble human being, grounded industrialist, a wise consul, a generous and affectionate man. A passage in time, full of memories, achievements against odds, humility in abundance and profound vivacity for progress. 

A loss to me of a great mentor and revered elder statesman. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Priyesh Patel MBE DL Minesh Patel Savitaben and all the Patel family," one of his family members mourned the businessman.

Late Dineshbhai Patel standing infront of Cofresh Company in Leicester, UK in 2019
Late Dineshbhai Patel standing in front of Cofresh Company in Leicester, UK, in 2019.