The Toomer family left the worked-out mines of the Radstock area to become Coal Merchants. John Toomer set up a merchants business in Swindon in 1850, and by the time he died in 1882, aged 57, he had established Coal Depots allied to rail delivery points in Swindon, Chiseldon, Highworth & others right across Wiltshire.
John's two sons ran the business until it was established as a Limited Company in 1900, when eight of the Toomers became shareholders.
All coal deliveries were by horse and cart to Swindon & the other depots. As feed had to be provided for the animals, it became natural that this feed would also be sold to Toomer's customers.
In 1912 the corn and forage business of A W Deacon was purchased by the Toomer family, including the shop & warehouse. With horse racing establishments nearby, providing feed for the animals quickly became another key part of the business.
In 1926 the feed business of Handys, Liddington was purchased for £50.00. Then, in 1933, Toomer's accepted that due to the competition from gas and electricity the coal business would never expand.
However, the animal feed business was growing steadily each year, with the addition of garden & pets supplies to boost sales. This is where Toomers then began to direct their main attention, with great success.
Charles Toomer joined the company in 1940, and John Toomer joined in 1954.