This September marks five years since we transformed our heritage store on Wigmore Street into an exquisite beauty, health and wellness emporium; and a year since we launched our brand-new website as an extension of our iconic store. In celebration, we look back on the last 222 years since the pharmacy was originally established – and the many milestones we have achieved over the years…
So, where did it all start?
Our journey began in 1798 – a time when powdered wigs, pomatum and rosy cheeks were considered à la mode. It was also a time of weird and wonderful medicine; in fact, the year the first smallpox vaccine was developed.
On the famous steps of Oxford Street – today one of London’s most popular tourist destinations – our pharmacy was opened by founder and pioneering pharmacist John Bell.
We are proud of the achievements of John Bell and his son Jacob, who during the great age of enlightenment both played key roles in the founding of Pharmacy as a profession in the UK. In 1841, Jacob founded the Pharmaceutical Society (now The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain) and launched The Pharmaceutical Journal, considered to be among the oldest professional journals in the world.
Their boundless expertise was key in establishing the pharmacy as a beacon of excellence – and today a landmark British institution.
Earning our stripes …
In 1842, the store underwent a major refit. Back then, every preparation sold at our store was made on the premises, offering bespoke products with a substantial manufacturing facility onsite.
It wasn’t until 1849 that the business developed as both a retailer and wholesaler, offering an unrivalled breadth of products and services.
And fifty-five years later, the brand – as it is known and loved today – was born, following the amalgamation of the business with Charles Croyden & Co.
The next 25 years saw our company mark some key milestones: in 1909, our first Royal Warrant was granted on behalf of King George V.
In 1928 – the year penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming – the business was acquired by Savory & Moore (now Lloyds Pharmacy).
Throughout our long history, in fact, many esteemed names have been involved in creating the brand as we know today, including Allens Chemist, Cross & Herbert, R Gordon Drummond, Kingswood GK, Hills Pharmacy and of course, Lloyds Chemist.
Today, John Bell & Croyden, Lloyds Pharmacy and wholesaler AAH Pharmaceuticals collaborate as McKesson UK.
Honouring our heritage …
With a history stretching over two centuries, John Bell & Croyden is today a renowned and well-respected pharmacy. As well as having supplied Harley Street medical professionals for a number of years, our brand has also been pharmacist to Her Majesty the Queen since 1958.
We marked our centenary at our current location on Wigmore Street in 2012 – and in autumn 2015, relaunched our heritage store as a pioneering health and wellness emporium – bringing our vision to create a modern and distinctive pharmacy destination in the capital city to life.
Our store now features four specialist clinics and over 12,000 products from around the world – comprising new and exclusive beauty brands and award-winning British names.
We launched our brand-new website last year as an extension of our flagship store, giving both UK and international customers access to exclusive features and services, treatments and products.
Celebrating our relaunch
At John Bell & Croyden, we are passionate that our historic pharmacy remains an icon in its field, one that celebrates a centuries-old heritage while honouring the beauty of modern-day innovation. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the way our brand has transformed and adapted over the last five years.
Today John Bell & Croyden is recognised as a ‘best kept secret’ amongst celebrities and known for being the first retailer to bring many exclusive ranges and cult products to the UK.
To mark the anniversaries of our relaunch, join us on instagram @johnbellandcroyden for some tasty giveaways this month.