John Toomer was a coal merchant who left the the worked-out mines of Radstock, Somerset to set up business in the Wiltshire town of Swindon. By the time of his death in 1882, Toomer had established coal depots allied to railway delivery points in Swindon, Chiseldon, Highworth and other locations right across Wiltshire.
John Toomer’s two sons took control of the company until it was incorporated as Toomers Ltd. in 1900.
All coal deliveries were by horse and cart to Swindon and the other depots. As feed had to be provided for the animals, it became natural that this feed would also be sold to Toomer’s customers.
In 1912 Toomers Ltd. acquired the corn and forage business of A. W. Deacon, including a shop and warehouse. With horse racing establishments nearby, providing feed for the animals quickly became another key part of the business. In 1926 the feed business of Handys of Liddington was purchased for £50,000.
By the early 1930s Toomers had accepted that due to the competition from gas and electricity, their coal business would not be able to expand further. However, the animal feed side of the company was growing steadily each year, with the addition of garden and pet supplies to boost sales. This is where Toomers then began to direct their main attention, with great success.
Today, the company is based at Lydiard Millicent, Swindon, where the firm has a garden and pet centre and continues to provide animal and horse feed. The company also has a shop in Cirencester which offers garden and pet products.