Subsidiary Companies
Lyons Bakery

Item kindly donated by The Sainsbury Archive., including the cake.


Hammersmith Factory
By kind permission of Hammersmith & Fulham Archives & Local History Centre.
. Neg 795 & 4226

Factory On the Flyover
By kind permission of Hammersmith & Fulham Archives & Local History Centre.
.Neg. 4211

Walnut Cake making
By kind permission of Hammersmith & Fulham Archives & Local History Centre.. Neg 2704



Fullers Cakes Ltd

Fullers Cakes can be traced to 1889 when a party of Americans exhibited in the UK. One of these exhibitors was William Bruce Fuller who demonstrated his Fudge, Peppermint Lumps and Walnut Cake. Having seemingly received a favourable response from the public he decided to stay and opened a shop in Oxford Street where he sold a variety of cakes and confection. In 1893 Arthur Burdett joined the company as Office Manager and the following year another company was formed with British capital; Burdett was one of the driving forces within the company and became a director. By 1895 William Fuller had opened a factory in Wardour Street and had opened shops in Regent Street, Bayswater and the Strand. The Red & White theme was introduced at this time and became a corporate image. In 1900 cake manufacture was moved to Great Church Lane, Hammersmith but the freehold had been purchased three years earlier in 1897. However it was not until 1919 that the four main blocks of the factory were completed. The Fuller's company commenced to make chocolates at this time but it was not until 1920 that that they introduced their own named assortment. In 1921, following the death of two directors, Rowntree of York took a controlling interest. Under their guidance Fuller's prospered and they bought Page & Shaw Ltd, the English subsidiary of a Boston based confectionery company. In 1947 Fuller's opened a factory in Dublin.

By the 1950s Fuller's had eighty-two shops where customers could order cakes, Easter eggs or a special box of chocolates. In 1955 they bought Callard Stewart & Watt Ltd with a factory in Southfields and three large restaurants in London. By 1956 their freehold site in Hammersmith had became valuable and management considered selling it and moving out of London. In 1959 they acquired Clifton's Chocolates of Manchester who also had eleven retail shops in the Lancashire area. In the same year the Fuller's company was acquired by the Forte Group who in 1961 also bought Joseph Terry & Sons Ltd of York. In 1964 Forte sold the valuable Hammersmith factory and transferred the chocolate and confectionery business to York and in the same year acquired the firm of C. Kunzle Ltd and transferred Fuller's baking interests to the Kunzle factory in Birmingham thus enabling them to sell the valuable Hammersmith site. The combined operation then became known as Fuller-Kunzle Ltd. In 1968 the baking interests of Fuller-Kunzle (restaurants went elsewhere) was taken over by Scribbans-Kemp Ltd but by the end of 1968, Lyons had acquired all these baking interests (Scribbans Fullers Kunzle) including the Oliver & Gurden bakery which Scribbans owned in Oxford.

By the autumn of 1973 it was decided to change the name of Oliver & Gurden to Fullers Cakes Ltd, after market research found more consumers were familiar with that name and associated it with being 'good value', 'high quality' and 'suitable for special occasions'. Nevertheless the name Oliver & Gurden was retained on some specialised lines such as shortbread and luxury cake, and for overseas marketing where they were better known.

The Fullers bakery in Oxford closed on 31 December 1975. The Hammersmith site is now occupied by large hotel alongside the Hammersmith Flyover. Part of Great Church Lane was transformed into Talgarth Road as it comes off Hammersmith Broadway in an easterly direction. The Fullers Chocolate factory is listed on maps of the early 1900s.

Part of this history is taken from D. A. Nicholls: 'The House of Fuller's provided by Hammersmith & Fulham Library Service Ref: SSR 774 HM83/2320. Hammersmith & Fulham Library Service also provided the images. Their website is: www.lbhf.gov.uk