The Jarrold story began back in 1770 when John Jarrold I opened a grocers and drapers in the Market Place at Woodbridge in Suffolk.

He kept an immaculate notebook, John Jarrold, His Book, in which he jotted down things that appealed to him - recipes for Indian pickle and black ink, love poems, and notable local happenings. It also contained his "Rules to Make a Good Tradesman", such as "Be not too Talkative but speak as much as is necessary to Recommend your goods and always observe within the Rule of Decency."


By the time of his early death "of a raging fever" at the age of 30 in 1775 he had built a prosperous business,which was continued by a friend of the family until his 21-year-old son John Jarrold II took up the reins in 1794. John Jarrold II assures his honourable intentions as a shopkeeper

It is believed that his widow took her family to Norwich, her native city. John Jarrold II advertised his honourable intentions as a shopkeeper, assuring customers that he would "sell every Article on the LOWEST TERMS, and of his utmost assiduity to merit their Encouragement."