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Wilkinsons of Norwich - Tea & Coffee Merchants

News

Wilkinsons goes international!


30 Nov 2007

We are pleased to announce that the foundations were laid for a sister branch to this firm in the good old US of A, at the end of the month of November 2007. The branch is located in Brewton AL, which is roughly fifty miles north of Pensacola FL.

The branch is now open for business with an initial selection of fine coffees. More will be coming on-line as the days go by.

Click here to go to their opening trade page if you want to order their intial coffee selection direct from Brewton. Please note these coffees are ONLY available in the USA for the most part, residents of other countries are strongly encouraged to order from our main site for dispatch of goods from here in the UK.

A short Picture gallery of the sites inception.

 

   
 Some of the work done by the 8th of December...
 ...and a couple of weeks later....

 

   
The new sign being hung!

 The Arrival of the roaster! Instantly christened "Rudolph" as it was near christmas and for its colour!

Pictured; Left Patsy Lato Manageress and Johnny Harris chief Roaster Right

   
 The first coffees are delivered!
 A fine selection from South America!
   

Left Mr Harvey of Wilkinsons UK
Putting Mr Harris of Wilkinsons US
through his first roasts

 Result perfection in Beans!
   
 Some finished samples  The completed site all revved up and ready to go!
 

In Late May 2008 Patsy released the following letter of introduction to the Brewton Chamber of commerce. I repeat it here as it makes a nice statement of what we hope to achieve in the USA. Wilkinsons is all about quallity and enthusiasm for our product.

 

 

 WILKINSON'S OF NORWICH EXPANDING TO BREWTON

The tantalizing aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans will soon be filling the air around Brewton as Wilkinson's of Norwich Tea & Coffee Merchants brings its specialty coffees and teas to the United States. Established in 1972 in the quaint English medieval city  of Norwich, England, Wilkinson's has now opened a sister branch in Brewton, Alabama at 283 Edendale Road (off Jay Road).

Wilkinson's of Norwich – USA LLC is projected to begin operations in June of 2008, roasting only the finest coffee beans from a variety of coffee-producing nations. Both whole bean and grinds (from espresso to cafetiere to filter ground) will be offered. Tea varieties will soon be available locally as well, including Assam, Darjeeling, and Oolong.

Owner Rick Harris, who purchased Wilkinson's in 2004, became intrigued with the vast world of teas and specialty coffees when he met his wife Debbie (co-owner), who is a native of Norwich. "Being a true southern boy raised on iced tea I would have never contemplated having a cup of hot tea," Harris said. "Not until Debbie introduced me to my first cup of Pai Mu Tan (Chinese White). I still love fresh coffee, but can't do without my daily cuppa."

A family-owned and -operated business, Wilkinson's of Norwich – USA is already rooted in the Brewton community with long-standing family ties. Based on the same land once owned by the family's grandparents, George and Stella Harris, the new 2200 square foot roasting facility replaces an old chicken house that has long been a landmark in the area. Other local ties include the Harris's maternal grandparents, E.J. and Fanny Butts, who owned and operated Butts TV for many decades, along with their son and daughter-in-law Wayne and Faye Butts.

The new facility will be operated by the owner's siblings, Johnny Harris, Head Roaster and Patsy Harris Lato, Business Manager. "Entrepreneurship runs in our veins," Lato says, "and to be able to come home to Brewton to be a part of a family business would make our forefathers proud. Especially if Granddaddy Harris could know we'll be recycling the coffee chaff to be used in chicken feed!"

Roaster Johnny Harris will be personally trained by Wilkinson's Master Roaster, Rupert Harvey, who is visiting the Brewton factory to share his nearly 40 years experience. An expert in both coffees and teas, Harvey will be working to develop a coffee blend exclusive to Brewton.