Partridges, the Queen’s Grocer, Celebrates 50 Years in Chelsea

Partridges, the family owned and run, independent speciality grocer is celebrating 50 years in Chelsea in 2022. It opened its doors on 25th May 1972 in Sloane Street and in 2004 moved 500 yards to the Duke of York Square, where it is located today. In 1994 Partridges became a Royal Warrant Holder to HM The Queen and in 1998 it opened a second store in Gloucester Road, Kensington.

Partridges’ notable successes:

In the 1980s Partridges started creating own label products and today has several hundred including its successful Chelsea Flower Collection;
Partridges was a Founder Member of the Guild of Fine Food Retailers, who champion artisan food in the UK;
In 2005 Partridges launched the Saturday Duke of York Square Fine Food Market with the support of The Cadogan Estate and Partridges continue to curate the market which recently celebrated its 750th Fine Food market;
Partridges has mentored hundreds of start-up artisans, or as it calls them ‘Startisans’ who take stalls at the market, over the last 20 years. One of its first Startisans was Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream;
It continues to innovate and launched its first Original Chelsea Flower Gin in 2017 which was followed by the No.2 in 2018 and the new Partridges Chelsea Bun Gin earlier this year;
In 2019 Partridges launched the annual World Chelsea Bun Awards to revive the baking of Chelsea Buns in the area and help raise funds for a local charity.
The stores stock over 10,000 fine food and drink products and offer the ultimate in convenience as they are open daily from 7.30/8am-10pm, offer free local delivery and online shopping at www.partridges.co.uk

Partridges’ Managing Director John Shepherd joined the family business as a student in 1973, took over the reins from his brother Richard, who founded the business, in 1981 and has just celebrated over 40 years at the helm of Partridges. He credits Partridges’ success to luck, team work, focus and the supportive local community. John says… “There have been very difficult years – probably about 7, plus the impossibly difficult Covid years but on reflection they have only served to help Partridges savour the good times. The average life span of a new delicatessen is about 5 years so to have prospered as an independent, family business, in the centre of London for 50 years is incredible. Who would have believed that my brother’s vision 50 years ago would have survived into the 2020s? And we are already looking forward to the next 50 years.”

John was one of the founders of The Guild of Fine Food, is a judge for its well-regarded Great Taste Awards and won a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from The Guild of Fine Food and became ‘Icon of the Speciality Fine Food & Drink Industry’ in 2019. Sadly Sir Richard Shepherd, the Founder of Partridges and former MP, died earlier this year.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Partridges is holding a cartoon competition, has launched a new ready mixed Chelsea Flower Gin & Tonic in a tin, is planning a large party in the Autumn, and as a Royal Warrant Holder will be celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Anniversary in June. Details of its anniversary plans can be seen here – www.partridges50thanniversary.co.uk

Also on 25th May 2022, exactly 50 years after Partridges was founded, a Memorial Service will be held at Holy Trinity, Chelsea for Sir Richard Shepherd who founded Partridges, was a former MP and who died recently.

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