78 Years of Brewing Fine Tea
More than 75 years ago, Hendrick Mallikage had a dream to share his passion for high quality tea by making it accessible to all Sri Lankan consumers. Born in 1908 in Mirissa, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Hendrick had a humble childhood. At the age of 14, Hendrick went to live with his uncle in Watagoda, where he was introduced to tea. After realizing working for his uncle was not what he had hoped for, Hendrick decided to embark upon a journey of a lifetime by moving to Colombo, the island's capital.
When Hendrick arrived in Colombo, he was met with a harsh reality as the island became engulfed in the chaos of World War II as a British colony. Even through the hardships presented by the war, Hendrick persevered and refused to give up on his dream. In the early 1940s, Hendrick Mallikage opened his very first retail sale of tea in 175 Prince Street, Colombo.
In 1941, Hendrick married Sominona, who has since been the standing force behind him throughout his life and successes. Hendrick started the distinct service of tea delivery throughout Colombo and other parts of Sri Lanka, which greatly helped publicize his tea. By 1958, Hendrick & Brother's tea had over taken all the leading competitors, including Lipton and Brooke Bond in the retail space.
Hendrick Mallikage and his employees at the opening of the Mirissa, Sri Lanka location in 1953.