20 Years in SA

My Crabtree – Lew Rood

My Crabtree – Lew Rood In the first of our “My Crabtree” series, Lew Rood reminisces about London, discovering an exquisite boutique of treasures and his affinity for life's little luxuries. Lily of the Valley collection The scene is west London, the time, the 70’s, the place Kensington Church Street, at the hub of it all, close to the corner of Kensington High Street, Kensington Palace and Gardens. I was in awe of a shop window filled with treasures, the then Crabtree & Evelyn store, now gone, but iconic at that time. Convenient to my new London home in Abingdon Road, off Kensington High Street, W8, where I was to live for several years, during my posting to London. (more…)


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Glorious Soap – drawn from nature.

As we discussed in our last post, what would become  Crabtree & Evelyn  was incubated in a small retail outlet known as ‘The Soap Box’, in a corner of a theatre in Massachusetts, USA. The brain child of film buff Cyrus Harvey, the store became an eclectic collection of soaps & suds gathered from his travels, all sold under the brand name "Truc". The exact story behind this name may now be lost, but it could very well refer to the French word 'truc' meaning 'things'. (more…)


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At the sign of the Crabapple Tree

So many of the amazing brands which have dazzled customers and electrified stock exchanges in the 21st Century had far more humble beginnings in the previous century - Apple, Mattel, Disney and GAP to name a few. Each of these brands hit the commercial road as small enterprises, often from the back of garages, but almost always with the clear vision of it's founders at its heart. Crabtree & Evelyn was no different in many ways. The Brattle Theatre In 1968, the very origins of Crabtree & Evelyn began as ‘The Soap Box’ – a tiny shop in a corner of the famous Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was owned by Cyrus Harvey, an American film distributor and co-founder of Janus Films. In this retail space no larger than a broom-cupboard, Cyrus stocked a fascinating collection of soaps from around the world under the brand name "Truc". The keen gardener, opera lover and corgi devotee, travelled the globe to curate this eclectic collection of soaps, adding bath preparations, home fragrance items and fine food to what would become Crabtree & Evelyn. (more…)


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