Willett and Son can trace its history back to 1870, when Thomas Willett, aged 37, farmer of Waywick, first became tenant of Banwell’s grinding mill.

The Willett family lived in Butstone House, keeping the shop as an Ironmongers, and often using the top floor as extra storage for sacks of grain, pulled up by a hoist on the outside of the building.

It was when John Willett (born 1864) started travelling to the Bristol Corn Exchange each Thursday that he realized he was in the position to sell truck loads, later lorry loads of grain to customers big enough to buy in quantity. Loads brought for the mill could be easily diverted to other destinations, and fresh supplies brought for the mill.

The astute John Willett developed this trade travelling to Glastonbury, Bridgwater, and Taunton Farmers’ Markets, and even to Salisbury and Exeter Markets to meet and sell to other millers and merchants.

This trade grew so much, that in 1912, a separate office in Oxford Street, Weston-super-Mare, was opened to deal with this wholesale trade. Then in 1923, Lance Willett, demobilised after losing an eye in the Great War, succeeded his Father, and moved the wholesale office to Victoria Street, Bristol, and then  to Phoenix House, Queen Square, Bristol, where Willett and Son’s main office is still situated today.

Subsequently, the main trade of Willett and Son has been the supply of straight animal feeding stuffs to the compound and merchant trade. Originally this would be home grown grains and imported products such as Iraqi Barley, Plate Pollards from Argentina, Ground Nut from West Africa. Today the trade is varied, but includes, Soya, Palm Kernels, Rape Meal, Wheat Feed and many other products.

In 1986, Willett and Son took over the old Bristol fertiliser company, H & T Proctor (founded in 1812), supplying all types of fertiliser for the Agricultural, Horticultural and Amenity markets. This part of the business has steadily grown over the years, and Willett and Son now also provides specialist fertilisers such as Cropkare, as well as a varied selection of traditional fertilisers.

Still keeping to its traditional values, Willett and Son remains a family business, with two of the last three generations of the Wright family working there today, the MD being John Wright (born 1946). Although its main business is still feeding stuffs, its trade in fertiliser keeps increasing, and while doing so, Willett’s has kept to the Bristol Corn Trade principal, ‘my word is my bond’.

Cropkare is Willett and Son’s latest venture in the fertiliser industry (although it has been involved in poultry ash fertiliser for over 15 years), and although Willett and Son is well established in the past, it is constantly looking for innovative products for the future, such as Cropkare, that is both beneficial to the Farmer as well as the environment.

Willett and Son has had a long and happy history, and with the help of the staff, who have an average employment span well into double figures, the future looks bright, maybe even for another 150 years.