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Dragons' Den: New home in Tolworth for historic Welsh dairy company
Back in the mid to late 19th century, Welsh dairies were a common sight in London.
But with the rise of general stores, corner shops and eventually supermarkets, people began going elsewhere for their milk, and a once thriving industry has almost become a thing of the past.
But Morgan’s Dairy is an exception to the rule, and this week the family-run business is settling in to its new, larger headquarters in Tolworth, having left its spiritual home in Fulham after 120 years.
The firm - one of the last independent Welsh dairy companies in London - has moved to Red Lion Business Centre, in Red Lion Road, to not only accommodate a growing demand for its products but to bring the business closer to the family’s homes in Worcester Park, Tolworth and Ewell.
Gareth Morgan, who runs the dairy with brother Geraint, son Hywel and Geraint’s daughter Lara, said: “We’re getting bigger, we ran out of room in Fulham and we had to move.
“This is perfect for us. It’s bigger, it’s cheaper than central London, and it’s closer to where we all live.
“We serve a lot of coffee bars, offices, restaurants, independent schools and state school contracts.
“There’s plenty of those in Kingston and we’ll be looking to pick up a few more customers from here.”
Welsh dairies became popular in London in the 19th century, as farmers from Wales set up shops in the capital instead of traveling back and forth.
Many stores kept cows on site in order to provide fresh milk every day, as well as cheese and butter.
By the beginning of the 20th century, it is estimated that there were more than 700 Welsh dairies in London.
Morgan's Dairy is one of the few surviving Welsh dairies in London
The origins of Morgan’s Dairy date back to 1894 and Aspenlea Road in Fulham.
In 1947, Mair and Iuean Morgan bought a diary company from a family member, renaming it Morgan’s Dairy.
The couple’s son Gareth joined the business in 1969, with Geraint following in 1975 before the siblings took over from their parents.
Today, very few Welsh dairies in London remain.
It is because of that that Morgan's Dairy was profiled in a 2006 documentary series by Madness frontman Suggs called Disappearing London, which celebrated the capital’s endangered and under-appreciated buildings, businesses and past times.
On the company’s enduring success, Mr Morgan, 62, said: “We make sure we look after our customers – that’s what we’re all about.
“We’re a small family business and if you want a good service at a reasonable price, we’re your boys.”
For more information, call Morgan’s Dairy on 020 7385 7715 or 020 8391 5511, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
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