Whittard of Chelsea

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Whittard of Chelsea
Industry Speciality Tea & Coffee
Founded 1886
Founders Walter Whittard
Headquarters Witney, Oxfordshire
Number of locations 78
Area served international
Products Tea, Coffee, Ceramic, Chocolate
Owners EPIC[1]
Employees 942
Website www.whittard.co.uk

Whittard of Chelsea is an international retailer of coffee, tea and various items that are used for the consumption of hot beverages. Instant tea, hot chocolate, china and confectionery are also amongst their leading products.

The offer also include exclusive gift sets in seasonal packaging.[2]


Whittards on Lands Lane in Leeds.

The company was founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard, a merchant from London.[3] Originally the company only sold tea, however within a few years it had diversified. The company has some 77 retail stores across the United Kingdom, as well as providing global sales from its website. They have tasters of drinks which change from time to time. The company expanded in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK and abroad. International stores are in places such as Abu Dhabi, Australia, Chile, Cyprus, Dubai, Kuwait, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Poland and the United States. In the year to the end of March 2007, the company reported a loss of £3.2m. The chain of shops employs 950 people in the UK. Whittard of Chelsea also operate a wholesale business, Boaters, that sells flavoured coffee products. The Icelandic investment company Baugur Group bought Whittard of Chelsea in 2005 for about £21m. In 2008 the group was hit hard by Icelands's financial collapse and sold the company to private equity firm EPIC for an undisclosed amount,[4][5] this just before going bankrupt in 2009.

Despite an annual turnover of over £30,000,000, the company is still not bringing any profits as of 2011.[6][needs update]


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