Our Story

Over 100 years of family business & great coffee

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In the dim and distant past, around the 1890s, the Johnson family sold fine groceries and imported goods from hand and horse drawn carts around the streets of Belfast. From importer and wholesaler to consumer and business, while eager to serve, something felt not quite right.

Recognising an opportunity in the marketplace and keen to master their own destiny they drew upon canny insight and fortuitous connections. The Johnson brothers began to import their own coffee beans.

Shrewd judgement came to play. The family recognised immediately that quality was king. Roasting began in earnest in the second decade of the twentieth century and with that, a passion for the craft of coffee preparation had begun.

Despite the challenges business was brisk, with only World Wars hindering progress. It wasn’t long before Johnson’s was delivering its unique blends across the UK.



By the 1960s the company had developed a range of blends and an understanding of coffee that was deep and thorough.

50 years of selecting, blending and roasting coffee had lead to an instinctive grasp of the art and techniques associated with the finest coffee. Johnson’s was well placed to offer more and began to sell, install and maintain machines, and also train professional baristas.


In 1999 Johnson’s revealed Bellagio, a professional–quality espresso bean. Bellagio was yet another instant hit and is now one of Northern Ireland’s best selling coffees.

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