McChrystal's Snuff

McChrystal's Snuff Est 1926

The McChrystal's family adventure began early in the 20th Century when Denis, who came to England from Ireland, started working in Leicester for a wholesale tobacconist. He was intrigued by the high volume of snuff being sold and so decided to try and blend his own.

Denis arrived at his recipe with the help of a chemist from Leicester University, using the finest ingredients. He used his grandmother, an avid snuff taker, to sample the finished product and she gave her seal of approval. So, in 1926, in a garden shed in Denis’ garden, the manufacture of “The Original & Genuine McChrystal's Snuff” began.

In 1945, Denis’ son, also Denis, joined the business. He used to ride around on his bicycle delivering the snuff locally. In 1958, Denis and his son, moved the business to Earl Howe Street, Leicester and the business was incorporated. In 1966, the business was moved again, to the current premises, Morris Road, Leicester and here the Company became fully mechanised.

In 1978 Ian, Denis’ son, joined the Company and some years later he was joined by his wife, Sue.  They have introduced new flavours and have developed many new markets all over the world. They have also embraced the latest digital technologies including social media, and for many years, have been selling their products on the company website.

Snuff is something which most people will have heard of before, but many just aren’t sure just what it is. That’s because the bulk of the imagery which surrounds snuff comes from a time long ago when snuff first made an appearance in the royal courts of Europe back in the 16th century. 

Snuff originated in South America and was discovered being taken by the indigenous tribes of Brazil by a Franciscan monk during Christopher Columbus’ second voyage to the New World in 1493. As a result, it made its way back to Europe where its popularity soared among the aristocracy for the following centuries to come. 

To this day, popular programmes such as Netflix’s Bridgerton portray snuff taking by kings and queens of the royal courts a long time ago, but what actually is it and where does it fit in our modern day?