Coffee Shop In Bromley High Street

A Memory of Bromley.

Please can someone help? We run #bromleyhour every Thursday 8-9pm on Twitter, do you have any idea what the name of the fantastic coffee shop was? I'm thinking the Importers but I can't be sure.
The smell of coffee to this day reminds me of walking past and sometimes if my Mum had enough money, we'd go in for a treat.
Who else remembers?

A memory of Bromley

Added 24 March 2014


Comments & Feedback

I remember, we lived in Bromley till I was 11 (1958), and when I returned for a visit from Australia in 1994, I went searching for the smell and sight of that Coffee Shop, where the shopping mums used to meet. I went to Brae Side and Carn Brae schools, and have started a page "I grew up in Bromley, Kent" it gets a few visits and likes, but no comments so far!
I know the one you mean. It was opposite WH Smiths and had a big roasting barrel in the window. Try this link

Bromley was their first high street shop.

It was Importers. I used to hold my breath every time I walked past as I didn't like the smell!!
The full name was Importers Retail Sale Rooms Limited in was owned by the Tetley Tea company. I was the coffee shop manager for over eleven years..
I have just put a picture on Facebook look for the (goodteddybear) the site is now Burger King...
Goodteddybear do you remember my father Bert Thompson, he was the area manager for all of the stores.
I was born in Bromley in 1952, and lived there until 1965.
I knew that coffee shop really well, and can rememember to this day the aroma of coffee outside, watching the grinding going on in the window and the occasional treat of actually going to have a drink inside.
All in the days decades before the coffee culture we have now.
I'm sure it said "Coffee importers" above the shop
The coffee shop I remember from the 1960s was called Yarners
I remember as a young child, going up the wooden staircase to the tea shop, for tea and cakes. If I remember, to me it resembled a Tudor style tea room.
I went to school in Bromley around that time and I would catch a 94 or 49 bus to Petts Wood. The coffee rosters that also sold the most incredible donuts was called Wilson’s.
Hi peterwebb32 , I've just come across your comment from ages ago! My Grandfather, Tom Furlong (now deceased), used to be Managing Director of Importers from the 60's right through to his retirement in the 90's so your father Bert must have known him! The Bromley shop was one of only 4 or 5 of the Importers 26 coffee shops that had a restaurant. It's such a shame that they don't exist anymore - there's definitely a gap in the market!
Hi peterwebb32 , I found out this week that my dad's uncle (Ted Stewart) was also a Managing Director and used to go round the various shops. He lived in Hampshire so not sure where the other shops were. I asked my mum to find out as we used to go to their home in the 70's and I never forget he used to give us filtered coffee which was really uncommon in those days!
Hi jenny.norman25 and cheryl.ann. Yesterday for some unknown reason, I decided to look at this site again and what a lovely surprise to see both of your messages. I don’t receive any notification saying that someone has commented.
I met Mr Furlong on a few occasions and my father spoke of both Mr Furlong and Mr Stewart with great respect and although they were both his boss, he always felt that they were his friends as well.
My father started working at Importers as a boy in Maidstone, then as Manager of the store in Canterbury. He then managed the Guildford branch when it opened (one of the stores with a restaurant which my mother managed) and then went on to be Area Manager for all the stores and would travel all round the country and always commented visits to the shop in Plymouth, as he loves there.
I agree that it is a shame that they don’t exist now and though I know that some people didn’t like the smell from the roasting coffee, but I loved it.
Yes I remember Importers. Didn't live in Bromley at the time so only visited a few times not mainly for a cup of coffee but if I recall correctly to buy beans for grinding at home.
I think they briefly moved into The Glades and I think they also sold novelty teapots.
A very early memory of mine is going in to this magic smelling shop with my Mum and Brother. I guess it was 1977 or 78 and I'd have been about 5 years old. I had some Star Wars figures with me and a very kindly lady on the table next to us engaged me and asked me all about them. I remember being highly enthused and thinking that she clearly loved them as much as I did. I've never forgotten that little act of kindness from all those years ago. Looking back on it, I find it very touching.

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