Founded in 1869 by George Huntington Hartford and George Francis Gilman, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
Company began with a single focus on tea. By buying from tea plantations in China and selling directly to the consumer, the A&P was able to undercut the
competition and capture a major portion of the tea market in the major cities of the Northeast. For the next several decades, growth continued unchecked
as thousands of stores were opened and new products were introduced. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company grew rapidly into the world’s largest retail
chain, supplying one out of every six cups of tea consumed in the United States.
In the last issue of the Upton Tea Quarterly, we discussed the state of the retail tea market prior to the founding of The Atlantic & Pacific Tea company.
We now look at the evolution of the A&P and its impact on the mail-order and retail tea markets, as well as the phenomenon that became the model for
contemporary discount retailers.
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."