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Ireland’s Oldest Independent
Coffee Roasters & Tea Blenders
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The Story of SD Bell & Co

Farmer’s boy Samuel David Bell, having come to Belfast from Stewartstown Co Tyrone to work for a small grocery business, Dunwoody & Blakeley, was fortunate enough to be able to purchase that business from its ageing owners, and founded the firm of S.D. Bell & Co in 1887, on the corner site of Church Lane and Ann Street, Belfast.

By 1900, a further suburban Belfast site, Wandsworth Villa, had been developed at the Knock junction. Samuel lived above the shop with his family until 1926, when he sold the house to the Northern Bank, and built the premises we currently occupy, in the field where he had until then kept his dray horses!

SD Bells, Knock, 1905
Tea and coffee quickly became the mainstays of the Business, and by 1927 Bell’s had expanded into larger premises on the corner of Ann Street and Victoria Street, Sam brought his son Robert into the Firm, and SD Bell & Co Limited was formed.

S.D. Bell’s name and reputation flourished during the first half of the twentieth century, and quickly became synonymous with the best tea and coffee available, while the wonderful aroma of freshly roasted coffee permeated Belfast’s streets.

In 1973, Bell’s moved from the City centre to Knock, which location now houses the current headquarters, and is the site of their retail shop, coffee roastery, tea blending facility and the popular ‘Leaf & Berry’ coffee bar. A one-time jazz venue, it is now a busy locus for business people, families and friends to meetup; many give it the nickname of the “East Belfast Stock Exchange!”
SD Bells, Knock Junction, present day
SD Bells tea bags
All who purchase our products are reminded of the company’s long tradition of quality and service, first established by our founder, whose photograph graces our packaging.

Robert Bell, great-grandson of S.D. Bell, represents the fourth generation of this fine Belfast institution.
SD Bell Directors - William Johnston, Jill & Robert Bell
S.D. Bells & Co. Ltd.
Coffee Roasters & Tea Blenders
512-516 Upper Newtownards Rd.
Knock, Belfast BT4 3HB
Copyright © SD Bells 2024. All Rights Reserved.
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