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Waitrose & Partners’ journey began on the high street in 1904, when Wallace Wyndham Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor opened their first shop in Acton.

The enterprising trio created a successful business selling what was, at the time, exceptionally varied grocery produce. High standards and keen pricing ensured growth, with Waite focusing on the buying, Rose taking responsibility for accounts and Taylor managing the shop floor. Two years later Taylor departed, leaving Waite and Rose to form, in 1908, the now widely recognised name of Waitrose Ltd.

Changes in the years since have included the development of internet shopping, branches abroad and smaller shops. Waitrose continues to evolve today, but its past remains alive: the Temple Fortune branch in Finchley Road, north London, which opened in 1945, is the oldest Waitrose store still trading. And our founders' names live on in the name of our café, Waite & Rose, in selected branches.

Most of all, the business still aspires to Waite’s original intention to “lift the food trade to a higher plane”.

At Waitrose, higher standards on animal welfare, environmental responsibility and the wellbeing of the communities where we operate go hand in hand with good business