The former warehouses known today as Tea Building and Biscuit Building were erected separately in the 1920s and early 1930s on an imposing corner site where Shoreditch High Street joins Bethnal Green Road.
Tea Building was originally built as a bacon factory for the Lipton brand for Allied Foods Ltd. in 1931-1933.
The adjacent Biscuit Building was a slightly older warehouse built in 1920 and extended in 1928, which was principally used as a tea packing warehouse for much of its life.
Both warehouses were joined together internally in the early 1930s. Today the whole of the premises has been converted, and Tea Building is a landmark in Shoreditch, accommodating a variety of creative industries, media companies and artists, as well as a private members club on the top two floors. For such humble structures they have an interesting history.
It is fitting that the warehouse created for Lipton Ltd (the former company of Thomas J Lipton) is now occupied by a variety of media and marketing companies and is at the centre of the creative industries in South Shoreditch. Sir Thomas Lipton has been credited with being the 'father' of modern advertising. One of his first publicity stunts involved parading some of the largest hogs in captivity through the streets of Glasgow with signs around their necks proclaiming 'I'm going to Lipton's. The best shop in town for Irish bacon!'
Views of construction of the bacon warehouse in 1932