Nobody eats biscuits any more...
The story of Peek Frean begins in 1857 with James Peek who ran a successful tea business.
He decided to open another business – making and selling biscuits.
In 1865 the Pearl Biscuit was launched. Usually biscuits were rock hard but the Pearl was soft, crisp and crumbly.
To make the new style of biscuit Peek Freans needed a bigger building so the company bought up ten acres of what were then market gardens in the middle of Bermondsey.
The old factory was destroyed by a spectacular fire that brought the Prince of Wales out on a fire engine to watch. Flour, eggs and sugar reportedly gushed out of the windows, covered the road and were baked hard in parts by the heat of the flames.
In the new factory brilliant new biscuits were created. Chocolate Table – the first chocolate coated biscuit – in 1899; the Golden Puff in 1909; the Bourbon in 1910; the Shortcake in 1912; Cheeselets and Twiglets between the wars. Yum. Yum. Yum.
On Wednesday 26th May 1989, after 126 years in the business, Peek Freans closed. “No one eats biscuits anymore,” said the general manager. We don’t think that’s true…