Our Heritage

Fowey shop Fore Street

The old shop at Fore Street, Fowey...

In the early years, furniture arrived on the railway, packaged in straw and hessian, and was wheeled to the shop on a hand cart.

It is a very different business today but still a family firm. Mike Ellis, who built the business seen today, handed over the running of it to his daughters Annette and Julie. They are backed by an enthusiastic, dedicated staff, many of whom have been with the firm for over 20 years. There are large furniture showrooms at Truro, St. Austell, Wadebridge and Hayle.

The range includes lounge suites, beds, carpets and curtains. Talking through your own ideas with an experienced sales person will often produce suggestions to help you create your ideal scheme. But if you would like some more in-depth advice, please ask for a consultation with a design specialist who can help you choose a colour scheme for your room - or for your whole house, an extensive selection of curtains, blinds and poles with free advice, either in the showroom or a mutually convenient appointment for us to visit in your own home.

The commitment to quality extends all the way from measuring and supplying, to careful fitting by qualified carpet fitters, directly employed by Julian Foye.

At the Julian Foye Outlet, at St Blazey (formerly known as our Furniture Cellar) you will find seconds/prototypes from quality British manufacturers, alongside furniture traded in at Julian Foye and clearance items from our four showrooms at vastly reduced prices.

Julian Foye are committed to their reputation as Cornwall's Quality Furnishers. Reliable suppliers, well-trained sales people and experienced delivery and carpet staff ensure efficient service.

Celebrating over 150 Years of Furnishing in Cornwall

From a humble shop at Fowey in 1862, Julian Foye has grown to become one of Cornwall’s best known retailers, with four splendid showrooms which often attract customers from outside the county.


Early days, in the Fowey workshop. Jesse Julian is at the front, on the left; Alfred Julian next but one to him. Leonard Julian is sitting, with the cat; and, suited, right, is Edmund Julian, the founder...

Edmund Julian, who founded the firm now known as Julian Foye, began furniture making at Fowey in 1862. His son Jesse Julian continued the business and ran it until his death in 1955.

The first motor van in Fowey was the one bought by Jesse Julian in 1920: a Model T Ford with solid rubber tyres. With a bigger motor lorry, it became possible to collect furniture from London or High Wycombe, sometimes in conjunction with removal work. Jesse would take a dim view of it, if only the interior of the lorry was filled—normally the roof and tail-board were also well loaded.

Old van

The Julian & Son lorry, photographed at Westminster, fully loaded. During the three day journey home from London, the radiator needed frequent topping up, using water from village pumps and streams.

After the war, in 1945, concerned about the continuity of the firm and the security of his employees, Jesse Julian made the firm into a Limited Company. He arranged that, on his death, the business would pass into the control of Gordon Dorrington, the grandfather of the present Managing Director, Annette Thomas. 

Annette is responsible for selecting the majority of the furniture on show, whilst her sister Julie supervises the accounts office. The other Directors are Jon Wilson and Robert Winch. Jon and Robert are the managers of the shops at St Austell and Truro. They are supported by a staff of 36, many of whom have 20 or 30 years experience in the business—staff turnover is pretty slow at Julian Foye!

This is a Cornish family business which has stood the test of time. The directors look forward to supporting their staff and meeting the needs of their customers during the next 150 years.

The carpet experts - your new carpet deserves expert fitting. The Julian Foye carpet fitters are trained, assessed and examined by the National Institute of Carpet and Floor-layers, your guarantee of a first class job. They are all directly employed, we don't contract out. Carpet fitting is free of labour charges, subject to a minimum value. It is our normal practice to send two fitters, who will install the carpet with care, clear up and vacuum afterwards and, if you wish, take away old carpet (a small disposal charge applies). If you live away from Cornwall, you can rely on Julian Foye to complete the work in your absence.