Julian Niman, the founder of Nimans, passed away on Friday morning, leaving the distributor's staff in shock.
The 64-year-old died at his Manchester home.
Fellow director and friend David Bennett said Niman regarded all his staff as family.
He said it was a huge shock but stressed that the board of directors will continue to run the company as "Julian would want us to and continue his legacy".
Bennett told the workforce: "Julian saw all of us here as his family and he would want us to carry on serving the customer and running the business in his memory.
"Many of us have known Julian for many years and we will have to support one another through this difficult time. We will share details of the funeral as soon as they are available."
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