At this time, London Street was the main stage coach route from London to Bristol, Bath and the West Country. One of the main calling points of the stage coaches was the Crown Inn, opposite Joseph Huntley's shop and he started selling his biscuits to the travellers on the coaches. Because the biscuits were vulnerable to breakage on the coach journey, he started putting them in a metal tin. Out of this innovation grew two businesses: Joseph (the elders) biscuit shop that was to become the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers, and Huntley, Bourne and Stevens, a firm of biscuit tin manufacturers founded by his younger son, also called Joseph. In 1838, Joseph Huntley was forced by ill-health to retire, handing control of the shop to his older son Thomas, who was joined in partnership by George Palmer.