The founder of the company was called William Santus. He was born on July 27th in 1873 and like so many Wiganers of that era, grew up in poverty; one of seven brothers and sisters, with their father working as a shotfirer in the local colliery. The family lived at 73 Platt Lane, Scholes (then known as St. Catherine’s ward.) Little is known of his childhood, except that he left school at fourteen, most probably working on a fruit stall in Wigan Market Hall. He eventually bought his own stall, number 125, selling fruit and vegetables to the Wigan public. He would probably have continued in this line of trade had he not married a local girl named Ellen Seddon; a dressmaker by profession.