For many years, Coates Willow Charcoal has been recognised as the best-quality charcoal in the world. Coates Premium Artist’s Willow Charcoal is available in a variety of sizes and comes wrapped in tissue and boxed.
Coates is a family business based in the heart of the Somerset countryside near Taunton, the county town. The village of Stoke St Gregory is the centre for willow growing in England. Willow has been grown commercially in this area since the 1800's.
The Coate family has been involved with this crop since 1819, and developed the production of artist charcoal in the 1960's. At this time the traditional use for willow, basketmaking, was in severe decline following the increasing use of plastics in the 1950's. If willow cultivation was to continue as part of the family business into the future it was essential to find a new use for the willow.
Fortunately by the late 1980's baskets began to see a small revival in fortunes and became fashionable again. But by then "Coates" willow charcoal was equally important to the business. So, now the two parts of the business are run from our premises at Stoke St Gregory and the willow continues to flourish here and is used equally for basket and charcoal making.