Fitch First a blossoming business that has welded together new strands

FITCH First Ltd is a company which has become renowned for reinventing itself since it was formed in 2007.

It has been a fascinating process of evolution for the business which was founded as CSF Welding Services by Craig Fitch.

Craig, who had a background in engineering and welding, began by repairing mobile cranes and machinery.

Christine and Craig with a sample of pet bedding

And it was through this work that Craig acquired machinery to produce animal bedding.

That was followed by a change of company name and move to larger premises at Unit 11, Whitelands Business Park, Clarence Street, Stalybridge.

The progression continued as waste from the animal bedding was used to make fuel briquettes.
Today the business is run by Craig and Christine Buckley, his partner and business partner, and one other member of staff.

Craig Fitch with a range of the fuels

And far from those embryonic days, today Fitch First Ltd, whose main markets are Oldham and Tameside, has an extensive and expanding range, including pet products.

Their pet store provides a comprehensive range of bedding, food and often accessories for horses, cat, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, poultry and indoor birds and a variety of feed for fish, tropical, pond and koi.

They stock a line of frozen raw dog food and have expanded further into plants and compost.

Christine with some of the plants on sale

Fitch animal bedding and fuel briquettes, which provided the origins of the current company, remain at the core.

Fitch Fuels, the distribution arm of the business, is well established selling their own produced fuel along with smokeless coals, kiln dried logs and many other brands of fuel briquettes.

They also sell multi-fuel stoves from a range of 1,400 models, stove spare parts, fireside accessories, chimney cowls, flue pipes and liners from their retail shop as well as manufacturing stove glass.

Fitch First has also ventured into outdoor living with barbecues, fire pits and heaters and they are also a stockist of Calor and Patio Gas.

Christine said: “The business today is very different to the one Craig started. We do nothing of that nature now.

“We have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and we want to push on and hopefully expand further.”

One area for potential growth is online sales which they are keen to promote with a new website imminent while they would also like to increase footfall to their retail shop.

The retail store is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-4pm Saturday with delivery available.

The website can be visited at

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