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British Industrial History

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1961. Farley's Infant Foods.

Farley's was a British food manufacturing company, best known for the baby product Farley's Rusks but also for baby rice, cereals and breadsticks.

The brand was started in the 1880s.

The brand logo was a teddy bear.

1857 Mr Samuel Farley started business as a grocer and baker at 90 Cambridge Street, Plymouth.

By 1860 Farley was insolvent[1]

1862 Farley transferred the business to premises at 5 Bretonside.

1871 His widow, Mrs Ann Farley, was still at Bretonside, with sons James Steer Farley and Edwin Elliott Farley and daughter Ellen Sophia Farley. These premises were renumbered as 5 Exeter Street.

1870s A surgeon in Plymouth, William Penn Hele Eales (d.1878), asked Mrs Farley to manufacture a special infant cereal biscuit that he had devised. Similar biscuits were made by other bakers in the town but they were pure white whereas those made by the Farleys were golden brown.

1887 The business was moved to number 7 Exeter Street, which had just been rebuilt. The premises are still in existence and there is a stone to the left of the doorway marked "S.J.P. 1887".

1901 On the death of Mrs Ann Farley, the business passed to her son, Mr Edwin Elliott Farley. In addition to baking his own cakes, he charged other people 2d to bake cakes they had mixed at home in their own tins, and the same amount to cook their Sunday dinners.

1912 Edwin Farley sold the business, including the secret formula for Farley's rusks, to Mr William Bolitho Trahair, prior to emigrating to Canada. William Trahair, a well-known Liberal, and Methodist lay-preacher marketed proprietary lines, such as Globe Metal Polish and John Master's matches, from his shop, Globe Stores, 58-59 Notte Street, Plymouth.

1915 Trahair moved the bakery to 14 Notte Street

1919 In view of the success of the "rusks", the Trahair family gave up their other agencies and formed Farley's Infant Food Ltd..

1920 the business transferred to Woolster Street.

A new model factory was built in 1931 at Torr Lane, Peverell, Plymouth and the Company expanded rapidly

1968 The Glaxo Group' took over the business.

1976 Glaxo consolidated all of the group's food products as Farley Health Products

1986 Boots The Chemist Limited bought the Farley's interest from Glaxo and operations continued at the Torr Lane site until the factory shut in 1990. It is now the site of a supermarket.

1994 the company was acquired by Heinz in a deal valued at £94 million.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 24 April 1860