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HP Heritage


Heinz HP - A Very Valuable Sauce

Heinz HP Sauce was introduced in England in 1903 by Edward Samson Moore, the owner of the Midland Vinegar Company. Interestingly, the recipe was acquired in settlement of a bad debt. Samson established his Midland Vinegar Company at Tower Road, Aston Cross in Gloucestershire, England in 1875. He was in his mid-twenties, energetic, and outgoing, and while he was a man of high principles, he was also an opportunist with a dream to manufacture a sauce that would become a household name. As well as his quest for a sauce, Samson was also occupied with all the usual worries of running a business. Amongst these was the tardy payment of accounts. One of the small grocers’ shops that was in arrears belonged to Mr. F. G. Garton of Nottingham. Mr. Garton and his wife toiled all day to look after their general store, while in the evenings they would trundle around the streets of Nottingham selling a cart loaded with groceries and their home-made sauce. Still they couldn’t manage to make ends meet.

Heinz HP- Uncommonly Good!

Samson and his son, finding themselves in the vicinity of Mr. Garton's shop one day, decided that a personal visit might succeed where notes of reminder had failed. Entering the store, they were met by a shamefaced Mr. Garton. Samson, though a keen businessman, tactfully suggested they talk in the back premises, away from any curious customers. Here, in a washhouse copper pot, a sauce was brewing … a sauce that smelled uncommonly good.

Suddenly, Samson’s attention was caught by a small basket cart standing lopsidedly in the yard. Attached to the basket cart was a makeshift sign, bearing, in amatuerish painted letters, the magic words ‘Garton’s Heinz HP Sauce’! Simple and arresting, it was all that Samson had been looking for in a name. When asked for an explanation of the letters ‘HP’, Mr Garton replied that he had heard a faint rumour that a bottle of his sauce had been seen in a restaurant at the Houses of Parliament. Within minutes, Mr Garton’s debt had been cancelled and £150 paid for the recipe for his sauce.

A Household Name Worldwide

In 1903, Heinz HP Sauce was finally launched to the British public. Samson kept the name "Heinz HP Sauce", as he felt it was perfect for a brand with national appeal. The secret recipe has remained largely unchanged since the early days. Heinz HP’s natural ingredients include tamarinds, molasses, orange juice, apple juice, onions, garlic, mustard, dates, tomatoes, and exotic herbs and spices perfectly blended to create that unique flavour we love. Heinz HP Sauce has long had international appeal and was first exported to Canada in 1903. Today Heinz HP can be found in over 69 countries worldwide.

Interesting Facts

So popular is Heinz HP Sauce in Great Britain, that the average British citizen consumes 1.2 kg of Heinz HP Sauce each year. The most popular dishes to be consumed with Heinz HP? The Proper British Breakfast generally consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, fried mushrooms & toast, and the bacon sandwich, of course! During World War II, Heinz HP Sauce was manufactured in Canada by E.D. Smith and Sons. The Heinz HP Sauce recipe is so secret that when it was sent to North America during WW2, it was sent in code in two separate envelopes, with a third envelope containing the instructions. In September 2005, a limited-edition Paul Smith designed Heinz HP Sauce bottle was launched in Harrods to celebrate its "Truly British" week. Only 1899 bottles were made, and they quickly became collectors’ items, with some being sold on Ebay for up to £90.