Our Heritage

Our Story
Ernest Bewley

1861 – 1932

A spirited history of adventure and originality

Our story is a spirited adventure around the world with many twists and turns, insights and discoveries. Few brands can boast such a colourful history and pioneering lineage. Indeed it was Samuel and Charles Bewley who first introduced tea to Ireland, changing the taste of a nation forever.

 

The Bewley’s family were entrepreneurs with a conscience, driven by the Quaker values of community, equality, honesty, fairness and integrity of character. Some 175 years later, this philosophy remains central to how we behave as a business.

1835

Samual Bewley and his son Charles import 2,099 chests of tea directly from Canton in China to Dublin on the clipper ship The Hellas, thereby breaking the East India Tea Company's monopoly and changing the taste of a nation forever.

1840

Bewley's is officially founded. Charles' brother, Joshua Bewley establishes the China Tea Company, precursor of the Bewley's tea and coffee business of today.

1894

Bewley's first café opens on Georges Street in Dublin and we become the first to roast coffee in-store.

1903

Joshua's son Ernest imports the first Jersey cows into Ireland from Jersey Island, to supply the growing demand for good quality milk and cream for his cafés and bakery in Dublin.

1927

Ernest Bewley opens Bewley's Grafton Street Café, complete with the world renowned Harry Clarke stained-glass windows.

1932

Victor Bewley (Ernest's son) becomes Managing Director of Bewley's, building it into a much loved Dublin institution over the next forty years.

1986

Bewley's is acquired by Patrick Campbell, forming Campbell Bewley Group.

1996

The first Fairtrade certified coffees are introduced into Ireland by Bewley's.

1998

Bewley's establishes operations in the USA.

1999

Bewley's opens a 110,000 sq ft state-of-the-art coffee roasting and tea packing plant in Dublin.

1999

Bewley's introduces the first cupping table into Ireland.

2001

Bewley's is the first to introduce latte art into Ireland.

2008

Bewley's Ireland headquarters in Dublin becomes carbon neutral.

2011

Bewley's enters the UK market through acquisition of Darlington Coffee.

2013

Bewley's Master Roaster, Paul O'Toole is appointed Honorary Consul of Nicaragua in Ireland in recognition of Bewley's long standing ethical trading relationship with coffee producing communities in Nicaragua.

2013

Bewley's acquires Bolling Coffee in the UK

2015

Bewley's expands UK operation through acquisition of Peros.

2016

Bewley's announces all Bewley's branded fresh coffee will be 100% Fairtrade by end of 2016.

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