Skip navigation

About Northern Tea Merchants

Although established in 1959 by Managing Director David Pogson, the history of Northern Tea Merchants goes back to 1926 and three generations of the Pogson family. Read on to find our more….

1926 Albert Pogson, father of David, was employed by the Ceylon Tea Growers Association selling tea door to door in Nottingham. He progressed to van sales supervisor and was considered a privileged employee because his Model T Ford had a brake light!

1936 Albert Pogson establishes the Spire Tea Company, based on Cutholme Road in Chesterfield. The war years began and with that came tea rationing, however the business continued with Albert also working in the Auxiliary Fire Service.

1953 David Pogson leaves school and joins the family business selling tea door-to-door like his father. This was a huge disappointment to Albert as he wanted his son to better himself and ‘work in a library.’

1955 David Pogson began his National Service. Working in the kitchen at RAF Norton by day and by afternoon selling tea door-to-door. During this time David saved his bus fare by walking or hitchhiking the eight miles to work every day. By the end of the year he had saved £500 which he used to establish Northern Tea Merchants.

1959 Northern Tea Merchants established by David Pogson. He bought a brand new van for £300 and established tea rounds in Rotherham and Sheffield working a 70 – 80 hour week.

1968 With two vans in operation, Northern Tea Merchants began packing its own tea and selling instant coffee. With the increased stock and packing operation a warehouse was built at Old Whittington. It is now Pro Glass.

1978 Northern Tea Merchants moved to its current location, Crown House on Chatsworth Road., a former salt works. The business now had 16 employees, bought a coffee roaster and started packing for other firms.

1981 New packing machinery is installed giving the business more capacity. It also began roasting coffee, taking coffee production from 5kg – 70kg overnight.

1982 Northern Tea Merchants begins working with ethically traded products. Today you will know these products as Trade Craft, Oxfam and Equal Exchange

1989 James Pogson joins the business

1992 Northern Tea Merchants acquires Classic Coffee

1993 The renowned Tea and Coffee tasting bar, the forerunner to today’s very popular café, was opened in the shop. Catering customers were invited here to sample the products.

2003 The tasting room is refurbished and the popular café and shop is opened.

2010 James Pogson joins the Board of Directors of the UK Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA), formerly known as The Tea Council.

2013 James Pogson becomes Vice President of the UKTIA and will be President in 2015. Steering the direction of the tea trade in the UK and at the forefront of all things tea-related, including the latest legislation.

2014 Northern Tea Merchants receives Retailer of the Year at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards and Food and Drink Retailer of the Year at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.

2015 James Pogson becomes President of the UK Tea and Infusions Association.

2015 Northern Tea Merchants receive 4 awards for 'Food Hero', 'Lifetime Achievement', Retailer of the Year and Best Overall Business 2015 at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards and the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.