Our Heritage

2017 will see the 60th anniversary of The Morelli Group - something that Slim could not have foreseen in 1957, when he first opened for business on a hunch. The company is still 100% independent and family owned. The Directors now include Graham Parker MD and Rob Cohen FD who have added their skill set to the family members who remain dedicated to supplying the best service to the refinish painter in the UK.

Take a look back at our history from the last 60 years in business…

1957 Morelli & Co. are founded

‘Slim’ Moring and his wife Win started selling paint and consumables to local body repairers based on a hunch that he could provide a better service than he could get for his own repair shop Moring & Co. His early partner Bert Ellis provided the second part of the name forming the Italian sounding Morelli.


39 High Street Southgate

The first shop was below the flat where Slim and Win lived with their three children. The first paint product was Valentine who supported the business with a £1,000 loan and six months credit. From the start, a large stock order was placed to make back orders a rarity. Slim’s early motto was, “your stock is at the end of your telephone,” and daily deliveries were started; making him the first supplier to offer this service.

Jan 24 1957

27th May 1957

Morelli & Co. open their doors for business, the first customer was the Landlord of the local pub who spent 7s. 2d. on a 2lb tin of paint. The ten shilling note that was used to buy the paint still hangs on the wall at Morelli head office.

May 1957

The 1960’s

Morelli & Co. secured the rights to sell Valentine Paints for North London and Essex and, as a van round became too busy to operate, new branches were opened in that area, providing a service that was second to none. Uxbridge, Ilford, Camden and Chelmsford were all opened in this period of expansion for the company and Slim’s children David, Joan and John all started working in the business and a fourth child, Ruth, was born in 1962.


The 1970’s

Now well established in the South East, Morelli continue to expand moving the original premises 100 yards up the road to a larger site and adding branches in busy areas. Delivering quickly and fulfilling orders first time is still a cornerstone of the business that is now offering twice daily delivery service. The custom car scene takes off and a Renault 4 van is commissioned and airbrushed; with murals and pinstripes and topped off with a fur trimmed interior lining!


The 1980’s

Morelli Group Ltd is formed and there are now branches across the whole of the South East; from Norwich to High Wycombe and several in London including our first move south of the Thames. Most of the early branches still exist although, like Southgate; some have moved to bigger, more modern premises. The company is now being run by the second generation David, John, Joan’s husband Colin Laybourn, Allan Toms, Allan Clark and Steve Laybourn. Paint brands have also been added and, significantly, Glasurit becomes the leading brand with approvals on all German manufactured cars aiding growth during this period as German brands dominate the market. Ault & Wiborg paints start to replace Valentine products for the lower end of the market. Slim is pursuing a lifelong dream and restoring Rolls Royce cars as a hobby; showing them on Rallies and Concourse Events up to his death in 1984.


The 1990’s

Even more paint brands are now stocked to ensure Morelli Group remain market leaders in the South East. The UK market is all about manufacturer approvals and, as a manufacturer drops one brand, Morelli takes on another to ensure that our customer is not let down. Spies Hecker and PPG are the latest brands to hit the shelves and Valentine is all but gone now. 1998 sees the company leave Southgate for a new head office in Enfield – 15,000 sq. ft. purpose-built warehouse; servicing the outlying branches as a central warehouse facility, with daily drops to all branches ensuring the best stock holding for our customers.



Morelli tops the world as we sponsor the successful expedition to Everest with Neil Laughton who unfurled our flag on the summit 7:30am 26th May 1998. Also on this expedition, was Bear Grylls who was to find wider acclaim with his survival programmes.


A New Millennium

In 2000, Morelli Group undertook significant expansion with the purchase of Bancrofts, the successful Midlands and North based distributor that was owned by Finelist, who were not so successful going into administration. This projected Morelli onto the national stage and turnover went past £20m for the first time and the number of branches increased to 20 plus. After a decade of prosperity and consolidation that saw the purchase of Car Paints in Waltham Abbey, Morelli now had an impressive list of paint brands: Glasurit, DuPont, Spies Hecker, Standox, PPG, DeBeer and Masons. Some of the consumable suppliers had been with Slim from the beginning including 3M, Upol and DeVilbiss and they helped celebrate the 50th anniversary with a riverboat cruise on the Thames with all the staff in 2007. The 3rd generation Stuart, Andrew & Mark Moring and Michele Laybourn join the remaining 2nd generation of John, Ruth and Allan Toms as Directors.



The IMI awarded Andrew Moring a Recognition Award for Contribution to the Work of the IMI and helping to promote skills events which Morelli have supported since 2010 including WorldSkills London in 2011 – the biggest ever skills event held in the UK. Morelli continue to support these skills events and are at the forefront of encouraging youth into the trade that we have supplied for 60 years.



Morelli were presented with a top 100 award from the Financial Times for our expanded export services in 2013. A strong year of supplying product to Europe saw us achieve a high ranking amongst top UK business for increased sales abroad.



2014 saw the start of a new e-commerce business, Slim’s Detailing, named in honour of our founder ‘Slim’ Moring. This business continues to grow in the enthusiast car cleaning market and has built a dedicated following of people who take car cleaning to the highest level. To see more visit www.slimsdetailing.co.uk



The ABP Night of Knights award is presented to the supplier voted for their best service to the bodyshop customer. This is voted for by the customer and we have won the Repairer’s choice Award in 2013, 2015 and 2017 a strong showing and testament to our branches for their hard work supporting our customers.



Morelli declared themselves as Platinum Partners to Autoraise as soon as they became a registered charity in 2016. This is an industry charity encouraging apprentices into the trade. We were one of the first Platinum Sponsors and will support the initiative going forward.

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