The business was not expanded to include fruit and vegetable seeds until 1837, when the business gained new premises and had grown, with Mr. Sutton taking in both of his sons into the business and the sons convincing their father that fruit and vegetable seeds were the way to grow the business. Both father and sons wished the reputation of being the best in the business, and soon were supplying seed far and wide. The business expanded again in 1836 when Sutton’s son Martin Hope purchased nursery grounds as well as a greenhouse, and in 1838 began to sell greenhouse plants along with the fruit and vegetable seeds that had brought prosperity to the family business. He also changed the name of the business at that time to ‘Sutton Son’. Twenty years later, they were honored when Queen Victoria requested that they supply seeds to the Royal household, and the tradition has continued to present day with Queen Elizabeth II, along with the honor of a Royal Warrant.With the passage of the Seeds Act in 1920, which made testing for germination and purity a legal requirement for all seeds companies, Sutton was already well ahead of his time, as he had been doing this since 1840 when he had decided to purchase a laboratory and commence testing himself to look for the various qualities now required by law. The commitment to high quality and germination with Sutton’s Seeds continues to this day with the company.Between the years of 1840 and 1873, when the expanded their headquarters in Reading, many changes took place, all of which were brought about to ensure quality and commitment to their customers. The invention of the rail and the first rail trains to run through London brought many advantages for the seed company, as they not only were present at the station to sell seeds directly to customers but also able to use the newly-invented rail to ship packages that were too heavy to go by mail.Today part of the worldwide company Vilmorin, and still a leader.
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