Fortnum & Mason, with a history of 316 years, is a supplier of royal tea to the UK, and is a top light luxury tea brand in the world. The history of Fortnum&Mason is unfolded by the servants of the Queen of England, and the story begins with the founder William Fortnum. William Fortnum was the servant of Queen Anne, the last king of the Stuart dynasty in Scotland, England, and Ireland, who reigned for 1702-1714 years. Her royal habit was to light new candles every night, and the business-minded William Fortnum reprocessed and resold the unused candles every day, rapidly earning his first barrel of money, thus opening his entrepreneurial path.
William Fortnum continued his efforts and opened a grocery store. He successfully persuaded his landlord, Hugh Mason, to become his partner. In 1707, he opened the first Fortnum & Mason (F&M) grocery store in the Mason store at St James’s Market, and business has been good. In 1756, he moved to Piccadilly, where Fortnum&Mason is still the most elegant store in London and a famous tourist destination in London. Soon after, F&M ushered in a transformation of its business driven by the royal family. Britain established a number of institutions to handle colonial affairs, including the famous British East India Company in European history. On the establishment day, Elizabeth I granted them a royal license, granting them trade privileges in India. One of the most important trading activities was the import of tea from Southeast Asia.
Fortnum&Mason has a good relationship with the East India Company, enabling them to obtain first-hand good tea, making them one of the earliest tea importers in the UK. In the short period of time in the late 1700s,Fortnum & Mason also operates community postal services to attract more and more customers into their stores. In 1761, Charles Fortnum, the grandson of William Fortnum, won the business of Queen Charlotte and established contacts with the Royal Court, which enabled the company’s business to take off at a high speed and for a long time became the exclusive tea supplier for the British royal family.
It has now served 12 generations of the British royal family. After that, we have been taking a relatively high-end route, positioning ourselves as a gourmet destination known for its exquisite custom blended tea, with jam and biscuit accompaniments, chocolates, and gift sets in the store, and Fortnum’s famous picnic basket.
In 1840, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, introduced afternoon tea in England. Due to the long time between lunch and dinner at eight o’clock, the Duchess asked for a plate of tea, and bread and butter cakes were brought to her room in the late afternoon. As time passed, they became her habit. Later, she began inviting ladies and friends to join, and tea breaks became a fashion social event at that time. Therefore, F&M’s tea supply market has gradually expanded.
In March 2012, the Queen of England, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, and Duchess Catherine of Cambridge jointly visited F&M. During this visit, the Queen cut the ribbon for the opening of Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. This is a historic highlight for F&M after spending £ 24 million to repair its old store in 2007 for its 300th anniversary celebration.
Fortnum & Maso is also top-notch in product creation
Treasure of town store is Royal Blend.
Royal Blend Royal Black Tea, as a gift from F&M to Edward VII, has been the most popular tea in the F&M family since 1902,
This tea combines Indian Assam tea with Sri Lankan pekoe, presenting a soft, honey-like taste that is unparalleled and unparalleled. In addition to loose tea, Royal Blend Tea also has a nice triangular bag. Other distinctive tea products include Breakfast Blend tea mixed in breakfast, and pure Assam leaf healthy leaf tea from the the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley, which has been popular since 1840.
Wedding Breakfast Tea
Originally commemorating the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, Assam of India added some Kenyan tea, which later became one of the most popular blended teas.
The basic six categories of tea in F&M tea include black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, yellow tea, and parquet tea. F&M’s Pinhua Tea was designed in 2017 by Hannah Rampley and Peter Windett Associates, with a stunning expression and widespread popularity.
In terms of brand cooperation, F&M also seeks to integrate with high-end brands in different industries. Louis Vuitton, founded in 1854, has almost never disappointed young fashionistas from royalty and celebrities to today in the French fashion industry.
The cooperation between LV and F&M also left a deep impression on tea drinkers traveling.
The classic collaboration between F&M and Louis Vuitton is a popular tea and beverage suitcase that has been available since its launch, accompanied by a wooden folding table, removable tray, and cowhide leather handle. Its design is inspired by the exquisite handmade wallpaper of F&M’s famous Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon.
The tea suitcase has become a part of the French artistic life of ‘Louis Vuitton and London’, a celebration of LV design skills and the spirit of continuous innovation.
F&M also seeks cooperation with the art community.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts – BAFTA is a leading independent art charity in the world, and F&M is also a supplier of BAFTA tea.
In 2015, F&M provided a classic afternoon tea experience at the 72 floor of The View in The Shard, London, with just 40 tables per day. The Shard is located on the Thames River in London, near Tower Bridge, a famous attraction in London. The building has 95 floors and a height of 310 meters. It is currently the highest building in Europe.
F&M has three stores in the UK, and it was not until 2004 that it first opened its first overseas store in Japan in the form of a franchise store. Since then, it has been very popular in Japan.
In 2016, it first started selling its classic tea products in the United States through Willams Sonoma’s exclusive agency in Manhattan, New York. F&M counter at Williams Sonoma store in Manhattan, New York
After that, he quickly established franchise stores in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland.
According to the 2018 financial report of F&M’s parent company Wittington Investment Limited, F&M’s sales increased by 12% to £ 126 million, and its profit before tax increased by 26% to £ 9.6 million. However, F&M’s franchise store in Dubai opened in 2014, but closed three years after opening.
Based on the strong consumption capacity of Chinese tourists in the UK headquarters, F&M announced that it will make its debut in Hong Kong at K11 Musea in September 2019. This 7000 square foot space will showcase the retail stores of the brand’s product line, including tea, biscuits, wine, as well as tea sets and champagne. Guests can enjoy the food and beverages in the restaurant upstairs and enjoy the panoramic view of Victoria Harbour. The new F&M flagship store is operated by Big Cat Group, which will be the first F&M overseas direct store.
In addition to its own business, F&M holds industry acclaimed food and beverage awards every year. In the words of Ewan Venters, CEO of F&M, these awards recognize “the peak of high achievement in food and beverage from all walks of life.”.
In May 2019, Prince Charles was awarded a special award for “his unwavering commitment to sustainable and healthy food and agriculture.”.
Starting this year, Prince Charles opened his estate to the world through Google’s online platform. The online exhibition details the history of the Highgrove House (the private residence of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla), as well as the renovation of his house and garden.
The renovation of Highgrove Garden has always been the idyllic dream of the Prince of Wales, and sustainability is also the focus of the Prince’s Garden, which uses rainwater irrigation systems and solar panels.
In July 2018, the BBC program “Gardener World” interviewed Prince Charles at Highgrove. When asked how he became interested in gardening, Charles said, “I remember being obsessed with wandering small roads and things as a child, looking at all the plants. This is where I spent most of my childhood and my children.”
Prince Charles loves his estate with his life, taking careful care of every detail, and protecting the beautiful rural landscape of England.
Over the course of 316 years, Fortnum&Mason has experienced 12 generations of monarchs and still stands at the top of the world’s light luxury world. Today, it continues its miracle with top quality blended tea, tea sets, afternoon tea, chocolate, jam, and picnic baskets.