Brands that hail from Birmingham

It’s no secret that Birmingham has always been good for business. Once the heart of the Industrial Revolution, the economy of the city is still one of the largest and most productive outside of London. There are many businesses and brands that started life in Brum and some of them might really surprise you:

Lloyds Bank

Now it’s one of the big four in the UK’s financial sector alongside RBS, Barclays and HSBC but it started life in Dale End, Birmingham. Sampson Lloyd was a steel merchant who started the business in 1765. It began as a very small operation with its first branch opening in 1864 in Oldbury.


There is no doubt that us Brits love a cuppa and are the 5th largest consumers of tea in the world. John Summer Jr. learned of the relaxing benefits of tea from his sister and decided to make up his own blend to sell in his Birmingham shop. The odd choice of name comes from the Chinese word for doctor!


This brand is so iconic that you probably already know it comes from Brum! John Cadbury began selling tea and drinking chocolate in his shop on Bull Street in 1842. It was so popular that he needed to expand in 1878 so bought 15 acres of land on an estate that would become Bournville, a whole village dedicated to the chocolate making factory. It’s the second biggest confectioners in the world today and still uses the Bournville site as its main base for production. Whether you’re in Birmingham for your own business purposes or to sample the delights of Cadbury World, why not choose a Birmingham Serviced Apartment for your accommodation needs? Find out more at

HP Sauce

While the original recipe was created in Nottingham by Frederick Gibson Garton, he sold the recipe to Edwin Samson Moore in 1903. It was Moore who set up production in Birmingham at a factory in Aston. The sauce was made there until 2007 when Heinz moved production to the Netherlands.

Bird’s Custard

This egg-free powder was invented by Alfred Bird due to his wife’s egg allergy. Alfred Bird was born in Birmingham and manufactured the custard powder in a factory in Digbeth. The factory is no longer used for this purpose but has found new life as an arts and media centre called The Custard Factory.

Chad Valley

This toymaking company was named after the stream that passed near their factory in Harbourne. Their massive success waned in the seventies, so they were bought by the Woolworths group, who sadly went out of business in 2009. They have since been sold to Argos and now provide toys solely for them.