In 1870, William and his son John, founded a pharmacy/grocery business in Birmingham. William's grandson, John Summer Jr. (born in 1856), took over the running of the business in the 1900s. Following comments from his sister on the calming effects of tea fannings, in 1903, John Jr. decided to create a new tea that he could sell in his shop.
Sumner set his own criteria for the new brand:
The Typhoo brand is well-known in Britain for its long running television commercial campaign jingles, one of the most popular being "There's only one 'T' in Typhoo" and the current one being "You only get an oo with Typhoo," referring to the sound of pleasure.
In October 2005, the Indian company Apeejay Surrendra Group purchased the brands for £80 million from Premier Foods and created The Typhoo Tea Company. The brand is still manufactured at Moreton on the Wirral.