In 1814, Jeremiah Colman first advertised his mustard in the Norwich Chronicle. He made his mustard at a water mill just south of Norwich, and in keeping with the day, the business was family-run.
The Colman family’s pioneering achievements in social welfare are part of Norwich’s history. In 1857 a school was opened for the employees’ children, while in 1864 the firm employed a nurse to help sick members of staff - a social revolution at the time.
In 1866 the distinctive red and yellow livery was introduced to the label. That same year, the ultimate seal of approval came when the company was granted the Royal Warrant as manufacturers to Queen Victoria. The Warrant can still be seen on all Colman’s products today.
In 1903, Colman’s purchased a rival mustard manufacturer that was originally known as Keen & Son. The manufacturer had made their mustard a household name and spawned the well-known saying ‘keen as mustard’.
In 1995, the company was bought by Unilever.
From 1880 to 1939, Colman’s issued special pictorial tins every year. For special occasions additional issues were made, including ones in July 1902 to commemorate the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.
Jeremiah Colman’s original site at Stoke Mill still stands today, and is now a restaurant with a display of Colman’s memorabilia.
In 1973 Colman’s celebrated 150 years of business, commemorating the occasion with the opening of the Mustard Shop in Norwich. This was recently handed over to Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust for them to run as a tourist attraction.