David W. Gutzke, John Pearce and the Rise of the Mass Food Market in London, 1870–1930 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
At the center of sweeping change to food retailing practices in Victorian and Edwardian England lies one man: John Pearce. An innovative businessman and a quintessential rags-to-riches success story, Pearce was at the forefront of the rise of the mass food market in London. With his catering company Pearce & Plenty, he fed millions of workers who wanted fast, nutritious, and tasty food. David W. Gutzke mines a wide range of primary sources to offer a portrait of a pivotal figure in London and a leader of the temperance catering movement who had “done more than can be readily recognised to render London a sober city.” By studying Pearce’s companies as well as those of his competitors, this book documents a half century of changing consumption habits in London.