This month marks a remarkable milestone in our journey – 40 years of trading! What began with a simple dream has evolved into something we’re exceptionally proud of. Founded in 1983 by our Managing Director Martin Sanctuary, Tropic has grown from a small, single-unit roastery in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, into a family-owned coffee company that has had the privilege of sharing our passion for coffee with people all around the world.
Who would guess that the origin of Tropic Coffee lay beneath the bustling streets of London's St. Pancras Station? For many years, British Rail roasted their coffee at this very site. Fortunately for us, British Rail decided to discontinue this practice, and in August 1983, Tropic acquired their roasting plant and all the ancillary equipment. With invaluable help from Les Tate, an expert on renowned Whitmee Coffee Roasters (who has sadly passed away), we painstakingly dismantled everything.
It was a monumental undertaking, as nothing had been moved for a long time, and all had to be taken to ground level from the bowels of the station! However, it was well worth it. Coffee roasters of this caliber were extremely hard to come by, boasting an impressive 76-kilo capacity. Everything was transported to King's Lynn, and this very roaster, which remains at the factory today, formed the cornerstone of our company.
A Family Legacy
Martin spent 15 years gaining experience in the Coffee Industry with Kenco and J. Lyons & Co. before opening the factory in King's Lynn, assisted by his brother Paul. Martin's wife, Julie Sanctuary, also a Director, has been with Tropic from the outset and continues to be responsible for all aspects of administration and HR.
Today, Martin's son David, a Director, has been with the Company for 18 years and is now actively taking over the operation. Apart from running the factory, David is well-versed in the arts of blending, roasting, and tasting, as well as managing online channels and marketing.
Looking Back with Pride
As we look back over these 40 years, we can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride. Tropic Coffee has weathered the changing tides of the coffee industry, adapted to global events, and continued to provide our customers with the finest coffee experience.
From those humble beginnings to our current position, we've been privileged to share our love for coffee with countless coffee enthusiasts. We've forged relationships with coffee producers across the globe, each cup a testament to the dedication of these farmers and our commitment to their craft.
Looking Forward with Excitement
As a family business, we look forward to further busy times ahead. In addition to supplying the hospitality sector, Tropic is expanding its nationwide bespoke wholesale business. Demand for coffee remains as buoyant as ever, and consumer interest, which has surged in recent years, shows no sign of abating.
The Tropic Factory Shop, a treasure trove for coffee enthusiasts, continues to be extremely popular. Here, customers can explore and select from a vast selection of roaster-fresh coffees, participate in Latte Art Courses and more. Stay tuned - exciting in-store announcements to come very soon!
A Celebration Awaits
Our 40th anniversary isn't just about marking the past; it's about celebrating the future. We're excited to share this milestone with you, our amazing customers. And, as a token of our gratitude for your support over the years, we've got something special in store for you. So, stay tuned for some exciting announcements as the date approaches!
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We're beyond thrilled to reach this remarkable milestone, and we look forward to celebrating with you, our incredible community of coffee lovers. Thank you for being a part of our journey, and here's to the next 40 years of Tropic Coffee excellence! ☕🎉