Fruit and Veg at Fortnum and Mason
In 1761, William Fortnum's grandson Charles went into the service of Queen Charlotte and the Royal Court affiliation led to an increase in business. The store began to stock specialty items, namely ready-to-eat luxury meals such as fresh poultry or game served in aspic jelly.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the emporium supplied dried fruit, spices and other preserves to the British officers and during the Victorian era it was frequently called upon to provide food for prestigious Court functions. Queen Victoria even sent shipments of Fortnum and Mason's concentrated beef tea to Florence Nightingale's hospitals during the Crimean War.
In 1851 Fortnum & Mason first created the Scotch egg and in 1886, after having bought the entire stock of five cases of a new product made by a Mr H.J. Heinz, became the first store in the world to stock tins of baked beans.
The store was acquired by Canadian billionaire W. Garfield Weston, who became its Chairman. In 1964, he commissioned a four-ton clock to be installed above the main entrance of the store as a tribute to its founders. Every hour, four-foot high models of William Fortnum and Hugh Mason emerge and bow to each other, with chimes and 18th century-style music playing in the background. Since Garfield Weston's death in 1978, the store has been run by his granddaughters, Jana Khayat and Kate Weston Hobhouse and the Managing Director is Beverley Aspinall.
The store underwent a £24 million refurbishment in 2007, celebrating 300 years of existence
Fortum and Mason, Piccadilly, London