Probus was founded in 1911, produced its first kitchen tool in 1926
and went on to establish itself amongst the leading UK manufacturers
of Kitchen Tools and Gadgets.
It developed the world famous 'Butterfly' Can Opener in the early
1950's and became the global market leader with its Probus 444 Brand,
selling up to 10 million pieces a year in the 1970's. Despite numerous
imitations, the Company still sells in excess of 5 millions pieces
every year of this market-leading product.
The company rapidly grew its business in the UK and has also developed
a thriving export market. To date, it has exported to over 60 countries
world-wide through an extensive network of local agents and distributors.
In 1968 the Company pioneered the use of plastics in the kitchen
and produced the first kitchen tools with plastic handles. This
was followed by a world first with the introduction of kitchen tools
with nylon blades. This innovation allowed Probus to introduce colour
co-ordination to this area of the market.
In 1978 to increase the range of products offered and to build
on the colour co-ordination theme, Probus bought a kitchen textile
business based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. An extensive range
of kitchen and tabletop textile products was added to the portfolio
to compliment the kitchen tools and gadgets. Probus has also undertaken
Private Label and contract work for many major high street stores.
In 1989 the Company moved from its original site in Mere Green,
Sutton Coldfield. New offices were built in Walting Street, Tamworth,
and were opened by Princess Diana.
Probus was then acquired by the Spire Group of Companies early
in 1992. Spire Group is a successful and profitable group with a
number of well established manufacturing companies.
In March 2000 the Tamworth site was sold and the Company relocated
the textiles business to an alternative site in Tamworth, with the
remainder of the manufactured products going to a Group company
in West Bromwich.
To improve efficiencies, the textile manufacturing was moved again
in October 2001 to another Group site in Aldridge, West Midlands.
In April 2005, Probus Creative Housewares was acquired by Fackelmann GmbH - the international housewares manufacturer and in September 2009 moved to new, enlarged premises in Bridgtown, Cannock.