J. Lyons & Co.

J. Lyons & Co.

J. Lyons & Co. was a restaurant chain, food manufacturing and hotel conglomerate founded in 1884.

The company began as a collaboration between professional artist Joseph Lyons and his brothers-in-law, Isidore and Montague Gluckstein, as a spin off from the Salmon & Gluckstein tobacco company.

In 1894 the company started a tea shop in Piccadilly, London, and from 1909 developed this into a chain of tea shops known as Lyons’ Corner Houses which would remain until 1977.

The company also ran high class restaurants, founding the Trocadero in 1895. Hotels were established in London; the Strand Palace (1909), the Regent Palace (1915) and the Cumberland (1933).

From the 1930s Lyons began to develop a pioneering range of teas, biscuits and cakes that were sold in grocery stores around the world. The company had a factory at Cadby Hall, Hammersmith, and from 1921 at Greenford, producing bread, cakes, pies, tea, coffee and ice creams.

In 1938 Lyons purchased the Bee Bee Biscuit Co., changing its name to Symbol Biscuits Ltd. six years later. In 1990 the name was changed to Lyons Biscuits Ltd.

In 1978 Lyons merged with Allied Breweries to become Allied Lyons. Following financial difficulties in the 1980s, the business was broken up and the different constituents were sold off to a number of manufacturing and retail companies.