The business was established in Cambridge in June 1906 by Frederic Smart who had been working for a local grain merchant – E Bell & Co. In 1919 the mill at Whittlesford was purchased, and this provided an adequate location for the growing business for many years. In 1924, Frederic Smart’s son Thomas joined the business, and in 1950 a partnership was formed and the business became Frederic Smart and Son. Frederic Smart retired in 1958 after more than 50 years of trading.
In 1965 a limited company was created; Frederic Smart and Son Ltd. The business continued to develop its trading activities and at the same time offer contract seed and pulse processing, together with warehousing services. The business divisions, agricultural trading and contract processing continued to grow until 1996 when the decision was taken to formally separate these activities. A separate business called Granta Processors was created to manage the processing division, which still operates today from the original site at Whittlesford. Although there are no longer formal links between Frederic Smart and Granta Processors, strong trading links are maintained.
In 1999, a site at Foxton was acquired, and following a period of renovation and development, the business moved there in April 2000. The larger site, along with improved facilities, enabled the warehousing side of the business to be expanded, and this began to form a significant part of the overall operation, having a number of synergies with the ongoing agricultural trading business.
Continued growth of the warehousing division led to a search for a larger, more suitable site, and in early 2013, a five acre development site in Papworth Everard was acquired. Following a period of design, planning and construction, the business was relocated to the new, purpose built distribution facility in June 2014.
Continued growth and increasing demands of the logistics element of the business led to the requirement for additional warehouse capacity, and in June 2019, a significant extension to the existing facility at Papworth Everard was completed, bringing total storage area up to 115,000 ft2, with in excess of 20,000 pallet spaces.