As one of Australia’s first coffee companies, we are proud of our heritage. We’ve gone from being pioneers to innovators, remaining as passionate about coffee today as we were 60 years ago. We are proud to be featured in PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, which seeks to collect Australian online publications which represent the cultural and social life, and activities of Australians.
Browse through our rich heritage below and discover how our story has evolved over the decades to become one of Australia’s most loved coffee brands.
Robert Timms Senior emigrated from England and settled in Victoria with distant relatives. Robert was reported to be a dissatisfied postal worker who arrived in Australia with not much more than the clothes on his back and five sovereigns in his pocket. Initially, Robert worked at the Post Office, but soon took up a junior position with the grocers, Moran & Cato, where he quickly progressed through the company.PrevNext
Moran & Cato were expanding rapidly and Robert opened their first Tasmanian store in Hobart in 1908. His third child, Robert (Junior) was born in the same year, but sadly, Mrs Timms died while giving birth. Despite the tragic setback, Robert Senior continued to advance at Moran & Cato.PrevNext
Robert Jnr joined Moran & Cato as a 15-year-old grocery apprentice boy in 1924. After serving a three-year apprenticeship at the store, he was transferred to Head Office where he successfully worked his way through the business as an 'executive trainee'. His talent for sales saw him transferred to the Australian Wholesale Grocery division, where within a few years, he was selling tea and coffee so successfully, that his commissions made him the highest paid employee in the company.PrevNext
Robert Timms Jnr left Moran & Cato and sold the shares he had acquired there to purchase the Associated Tea Company. With the breakout of World War II in 1939, Robert and his staff were forced to work up to 20 hours a day to meet the demands of supplying fresh coffee to both the Australian and US armed forces. Robert set up the first fresh coffee making ‘automated line’ in Australia and this allowed him to dominate the wartime market and establish his coffee as Australia’s premium fresh coffee.PrevNext
In 1945 with the coming of peace, the company was released from wartime restrictions allowing Robert Timms Jnr to concentrate on expanding the business. The post-war influx of migrants from Europe, particularly those from countries where fresh coffee was a part of everyday life, influenced Robert to concentrate on coffee rather than tea.PrevNext
The 50s were busy times with Robert Timms winning two major contracts and introducing self-service coffee grinders into supermarkets. In 1954 Robert Timms were contracted by Ansett to develop a special blend and equipment for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her royal visit and the "Royal Special" blend was born. This became, and still is today, one of the most popular blends ever created. Just two years later in 1956, Robert Timms became the official coffee supplier to the Melbourne Olympic Games.PrevNext
Robert Timms Senior died in 1964 with the knowledge that his son had the largest fresh coffee company in Australia. In 1966, Robert Timms Jnr went on an exploratory trip to New Guinea where he was impressed by the high quality of coffee beans. He formed a company which became the largest exporter of green coffee beans from New Guinea. He was able to personally select the best beans available, giving him a competitive edge. He used his strong market initiative and his love for beans to develop and launch his first gourmet soluble coffee - the historic 'New Guinea Gold', which became a best seller in Australia.PrevNext
Purchases of Robert Timms and other companies meant that Unilever had a significant interest in the Australian coffee market. During this time Unilever streamlined and consolidated operations and spent a large amount of time researching and developing instant coffee processing. These efforts resulted in significant improvements in production and the premium taste you experience today.PrevNext
In April 1998 FreshFood Holdings Pty Ltd purchased all of the coffee business in Australasia from Unilever. The sale included the iconic Concord site and many of Australia’s leading brands including The House of Robert Timms, Bushells Coffee, Europa and Café Bar. Since this time FreshFood have continued to build on the reputation of these respected brands and remain the only company in Australia providing coffee in all its forms.PrevNext
The House of Robert Timms was appointed as the official coffee supplier to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. During the games more than two million cups of coffee were served to spectators, officials, business leaders and athletes. The House of Robert Timms also sponsored thousands of young Olympic hopefuls. To celebrate their involvement in supporting Australians as they went for gold, a new blend, Premium Gold, made with the world’s finest 100% Arabica beans was created.PrevNext
Today The House of Robert Timms continues to roast and blend fresh coffee in Australia. Why? Simply because this ensures you can always enjoy our coffee at its maximum freshness. This may surprise you, but every roast is personally tasted before it is packaged for sale. As one of Australia’s first coffee companies, The House of Robert Timms is proud of its heritage and our people are passionate about coffee. Recently our team of baristas served complimentary coffee to over 5000 consumers, raising money in support of the McGrath Foundation.PrevNext