The East India Company has embarked on its very first Scottish launch, with a new luxury fine foods flagship store on Edinburgh’s prominent and fashionable George Street.
The beautifully designed store combines fine foods and teas with rich decorative features and narrative elements that reference The Company’s historic connections with Scotland to create a unique retail experience.
The new store features The East India Company’s range of gourmet foods, as available in its six existing stores across London and Kent and concession at Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as its three franchise stores in the Middle East. It includes an expertly curated selection of fine teas and coffees; artisan sweet and savoury biscuits; an exquisite chocolate range; and flavourful jams and marmalades among many more. The fine foods are complemented by a selection of tea and table accessories and an exclusive range of hand-crafted Bone China and Porcelain. Unique in appearance and rich in history, each piece is painted by master craftsmen using mineral paints and 18 carat Gold.
The Company’s first designated Tea Bar will also feature in store, where customers can sit, relax and enjoy a cup of tea of their choosing from the vast and expertly hand-picked range including the finest green, black, and fruit flavoured teas and herbal infusions.
Since its creation in 1600 by The Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I, the influence of The East India Company has been great. It influenced Britain’s dining tables through the introduction of exotic ingredients and flavours, but more fundamentally, it changed the world’s customs, tastes and ways of thinking. Today, The Company draws inspiration from its unique heritage with a spirit of Remarkable Connections. It continues to explore the world to surprise and delight customers with inspirational tastes crafted from the finest ingredients the world has to offer – it remains a quintessentially British brand with influences from diverse cultures.
The Company offers products that have been crafted by artisans from around the world using ingredients that have been carefully sourced for their quality and have a well-known provenance. Each tea in the range is personally selected by The East India Company’s Tea Master ensuring only the finest quality. A direct relationship with the tea estates enables The Company to stock some of the freshest teas available as they arrive in-store within 28 days after the leaves have been picked on the tea estates.
This will be the first fine foods offering on George Street, further enhancing it as a luxury shopping destination. Providing a unique and opulent sensory experience for customers, the launch offers an opportunity to enjoy a selection of unique & tantalising fine foods influenced by tastes, cultures and traditions from across the globe.
The launch also marks an exciting new chapter for the brand as it embraces The East India Company’s historic ties with Scotland. Many Scotsmen worked for The East India Company with some making prestigious contributions to culture and society while working in many corners of the globe. By 1792 one in nine EIC civil servants, one in eleven common soldiers and one in three officers were Scottish individuals. Perhaps the most notable figure is Robert Fortune, a Scottish Botanist, most well-known for introducing tea to India. In 1842 The East India Company sent Fortune on the task of transporting tea plants from China to India, enabling the Company to manufacture tea on a grander scale. India remains to this day as one of the world’s largest tea producers.
The East India Company also has strong historic links with products now widely known in Scotland including Paisley and Jute. The Company’s officers brought back fine Kashmir Paisley shawls from the East; making the design very popular in Europe. The major textile industries in both Edinburgh and the town of Paisley started to produce machine woven versions of the traditional teardrop pattern to meet demand, with the latter lending its name to the iconic design. Jute was also traded by The East India Company and the Scottish town of Dundee, renowned for its textiles industry soon became known for its Jute manufacturing.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman of The East India Company said: “We are delighted to be able to rekindle our historic ties with Scotland. We have entered the Scottish market with a sense of familiarity and belonging, as one would revive a bond with an old friend. This store launch represents only the first step in our commitment to further growth plans in the region. Edinburgh was a natural choice for our flagship and we look forward to sharing our rich stories with customers who we know will appreciate our gourmet foods and unparalleled heritage.”