Posted in Kafevend Blog
Having now looked at the history of both Twinings and Tetley, I feel it's only fair to check out some coffee companies. No doubt once I've looked at a couple of them I'll need to look into doing a couple more about folks who have a lot to do with chocolate to create another themed trio.
Kenco has its roots in the early 1920s, when a group of retired coffee planters went into business together under the name "Kenya Coffee Company". The group would find and send to England high quality coffee to be sold from a shop located on Vera Street in London. Whilst sales were made directly from the shop, it also sold via mail order, often supplying country homes with their coffee.
Business was booming as demand quickly increased, and the company soon moved to new premises on Sloan street, again in London.
This time, the shop was located next door to the food merchant John Gardiner who, like the Kenya Coffee Company, was making a bit of a name for himself in his particular trade. After WWII, an employee of Gardiner persuaded him to buy the Kenya Coffee Company, which he did. A retail chain of eleven coffee shops was established, the first branded high street shops of their kind. By the 1960s, business in the shops was booming, along with other coffee traders branching into this method of sale. The company had acquired the rights to sell Gaggia espresso machines, which it sold to these new coffee shops.
During this period, the Kenya Coffee Company finally changed its name to the Kenco Coffee Company. With less and less coffee being sourced from Kenya, it felt the change was needed, but the new name certainly harks back to their origins.