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History of Pumphreys Coffee

Pumphreys of Newcastle have a history which can be traced back to the year 1750

The business, which later became known as Pumphreys, was established by a gentleman named Leigh Smith in the Flesh Market (opposite the Bigg Market) in 1750, and was sold to George Richardson in 1800. George Richardson has been described as a "Quaker, businessman, tanner, grocer and dealer in Tea."

1835 - George Richardson was succeeded by his son Henry Richardson and the street which had previously been renamed Union Street now became the Cloth Market as it is today.

Henry Richardson had two nephews - Thomas Pumphrey and George Richardson Pumphrey.

1853 - George Richardson Pumphrey aged 23, purchased a grocery business in Blackett Street, Newcastle with Thomas Pumphrey aged 21 as his shop assistant.

1854 - Young Thomas Pumphrey aged 23 joined his uncle Henry Richardson in the Cloth Market business as Henry Richardson & Co. until uncle Henry retired in 1858.

1862 - The premature death (at the age of 32) of Thomas' brother George Richardson Pumphrey, who was running the Blackett Street business, saw Thomas form a partnership with his friend T. Carrick Watson who would run the Blackett Street business as Pumphrey & Watson for seven years until 1869 when Watson became sole proprietor.

1870 - Thomas Pumphrey (at this time aged 39) rebuilt the Cloth Market premises.

1887 - T. Carrick Watson rebuilt his Blackett Street premises.

1911 - On 14th February the Cloth Market business of T. Pumphrey & Son (as it now was) and the Blackett Street business of T. Carrick Watson & Son (as it now was) amalgamated to form Pumphrey & Carrick Watson Ltd. On 11th April aged 78 Thomas Pumphrey died at 6 Summerhill Grove Newcastle. Business continued to thrive and 'Pumphreys Coffee' became a household name throughout the North East.

1945 - After the Second World War the grocery trade began to flounder and it became necessary to close the Blackett Street branch. However, the Cloth Market, with its very busy roasting department and coffee rooms above, continued to flourish.

1974 - The grocery side of the business had to close and a decision was taken to move the coffee side of the business into the Old George Yard (behind the shop) and continue to supply the catering trade from there. This would free the main building for sale, which was in great demand for use as a public bar. (The start of the Bigg Market party area)

In 1983 Pumphreys Coffee moved to Blaydon on Tyne (home of the Blaydon Races) where a new 40,000 sq ft factory has provided warehousing and roasting facilities with excellent positioning for distribution.

1983 - Pumphreys Coffee Ltd. was purchased by Mr. C. J. Archer and its place of business was moved out of the Cloth Market for the first time in over 230 years. At this time a retail outlet in Newcastle’s most prestigious market the Grainger market is opened maintaining a connection with central Newcastle. 

1999 - Old values are treasured by Stuart and Malcolm Archer who are proud to offer both the catering trade and the public a choice of over 80 different coffees and teas all freshly prepared with the traditional 'Pumphreys' care and attention to detail.

2002 - Stuart's son (Stuart Lee) joins the business and introduces a vastly improved espresso machine and espresso grinder offering along with all relevant up to date training.

2006 - The popularity of Pumphreys fresh coffee and extensive use of espresso machines sees further development at Pumphreys. 
A new extended showroom is built at Blaydon giving customers a one stop shop for not only their coffee but also all the various associated products such as crockery, glasses, disposables, sugars, chocolates, etc.
The showroom is also designed to educate customers in the various types of coffee machines available to make coffee.
An innovation is the building of a training centre for the complimentary use of Pumphreys Customers and their staff. Instruction on coffee, coffee making and machine maintenance are offered to all customers free of charge.

2010 - Stuart Lee Archer becomes a registered tutor with City and Guilds and the Pumphreys Training centre becomes a revenue stream in its own right.

2012 -Extra units are leased in the Grainger market creating a place to drink Pumphreys Coffee attached to the flourishing Pumphreys Coffee Centre. These extra Units are known as the Pumphreys Brewing Emporium. The Brewing Emporium wins the Best Espresso in the UK award from the Beverage Standards Association and receives a 5 Cup rating.

2013 - Stuart Lee Archer takes over as director from Malcolm Archer who retires after 30 years in the business. The Brewing Emporium wins the Best Cappuccino in the UK award from the Beverage Standards Association and retains its 5 Cup Rating. The roasting starts to expand its coffee offerings over and above its traditional menu by supplying a Coffee of the Month. This is available to buy in a subscription form over the internet and is available to buy and taste in the Brewing Emporium

2014 - The Brewing Emporium retains the Best Cappuccino in the UK award from the Beverage Standards Association and also retains its 5 Cup rating.

2015 - Pumphreys Coffee are asked to help run and asses the Beverage Standards Association Awards and ratings system due to their phenomenal success in the rating system over the last three years.