Over the last 170 years there have been various different businesses located at 86 High Street in Ventnor. Around the 1890s, Robert Tolman, a native of Seaton in South Devon who had originally come to Ventnor in 1866 from Bristol, established a confectionery, bakery and dining business there. Later he had a shop at 105 High Street run by his son Edward.
Tolmans served the high class of clientèle that by the later Victorian decades was frequenting Ventnor as a health resort. He also acquired a fine reputation as a refreshment contractor for all manner of functions, festive or otherwise. Robert Tolman died in Ventnor in October 1919, aged 80.
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