T he smell of history at Farrers is as strong as the aroma of the tea and coffee. The Grade 2 listed building dates back to 1640 when it was a pack horse inn called The old Wagon and Horses Inn, where patrons were served with there drinks in the cellars. Over the years the premises had previously been used by a dressmaker, E. Gregson, and earlier still had originally been a house occupied by George and Mary Wilson.
Originally it was Joseph Fallows who started the business in dealing tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate and refined sugar. In 1819 when Liverpool Tea Merchant John Farrer purchased the business it then became known by its present title. He ran the family business of being a specialist tea and coffee merchant until 1886 when he transferred it to his sons, Joseph and Edward.
The tantalizing aroma of roasting coffee became a feature of daily life in the market town of Kendal.
T he huge tea counter inside the main entrance is listed and so are the 20 original tea canisters behind it, which are still used to this day! The original coffee grinder from 1853 still has pride of place in the centre of the shop, presumably some one with big muscles used to operate it such is the size! There are many original features still around the building such as the creaking floorboards. The old English oak that had gone through their long sea voyages 300 years ago. Every day here in Farrer’s dozens, scores, sometimes hundreds of people walk these planks and yet they still will look good for another century.
Today Farrer’s is owned by Gordon and Gillian Grace, who have owned the business since 1990. It has now become a family business with the help and enthusiasm of their two daughters.