Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,975 pages of information and 229,027 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1986 Bejam was a British frozen food retailer which was founded by John Apthorp, based in Stanmore.

The concept of selling only frozen foods was a novel idea at the time, and Bejam grew out of Apthorp's existing family business of E. A. D. Apthorp, who were potato merchants specialising in local deliveries in and around Edgware and Stanmore.

Bejam also derived a small part of its revenue from the sale of electrical appliances with the Bejam brand name, mostly freezers and refrigerators, but also microwave ovens.

1986 Bejam had bought the rump of the Victor Value chain of supermarkets from Tesco in 1986.

1989 Bejam was bought by its rival Iceland, despite still being a success and being three times bigger than Iceland. The shops were re-branded to carry the "Iceland" name, and are still trading as such today.

Apthorp also founded Wizard Wines, originally as a subsidiary of Bejam, but which de-merged after the Iceland takeover. The chain would later acquire its rival Majestic Wine.

Bejam is an acronym for Brian, Eric, John, And Millie; the first names of the original company directors

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