August 23rd 2020
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Week 17- British Chocolate Pioneers
Q for Quaker
From the 17th Century, English Quakers were involved in businesses such as farming and crafts, and in useful, non-military enterprises at a time when gun makers and others who profited from war were disowned.
Quaker merchants and apothecaries began to get involved in the chocolate industry because chocolate was thought to have medicinal properties. It used to make cocoa drinks and thought to be a good alternative to alcohol.
Several Chocolate family businesses became enormous, like Fry’s,Cadbury’s and Rowntree’s. Many Quaker employers did much to improve the general living conditions of their employees, building houses, schools and infirmaries for their benefit.
By the 20th century changes in company law meant that businesses became public companies rather than family concerns, therefore Quaker's businesses were sold for profit or merged with larger companies such as Nestle and Kraft (Mondelez).
Here is a list of the British chocolate pioneers:
In 1725 Mary Tuke, Quaker, opened a grocery shop in York and fought (and won!) against all laws restricting her of trading as an unmarried woman. She passed on her business to William and from 1785 Tukes manufactured cocoa and chocolate, as well as dealing in tea and coffee. Mary is referred to as “The Mother of York’s Chocolate Industry”. Bought by Rowntree’s in 1862;
In 1729, apothecary Walter Churchman manufactures chocolate in Bristol, and is granted a patent by King George II for an improved chocolate drink using a powered machine enabling him to create a much finer cocoa powder than anyone else; He was Bought in 1761 by Joseph Fry and John Vaughan.
1728 Fry’s begins chocolate production in Bristol; its long-established brand names include Fry’s Chocolate Cream stick (1853), Fry’s Chocolate Cream (1866), Fry’s Turkish Delight (1914) and Crunchie (1929). Fry’s and Son merged with Cadbury in 1919.
In 1767, Terry’s is founded and begins selling cough lozenges, lemon and orange candied peel, and other sweets. Terry's Neapolitans, individually wrapped pieces of chocolate in assorted flavours, were launched in 1899, Terry’s best known products include Chocolate Apple (1926), Terry's Chocolate Orange (1932), and Terry's All Gold box of assorted chocolates (1930s). Bought in 1993 by Kraft Foods and in 2016 by Eurazeo French confectioner Carambar & Co, who set up in 2019 a London subsidiary called Terry's Chocolate Co.
Loveley’s chocolate business is founded in 1854 by J.W.Loveley at the age of 17 in Boston UK; Loveley’s was also a bakery, dining and commercial house; An advertisement dated 1982 list the fact that they had a “wholesale and retail pastry cook and confectioner”.
Mackintosh is founded in 1890 and is known for Mackintosh's Celebrated Toffee as well as Quality Street (1936), Rolo (1938), Caramac (1959) and Toffee Crisp (1963). In 1969, the company merged with Rowntree's, itself taken overby Nestlé in 1988.
In 1824 John Cadbury, a young Quaker, announces the opening of a shop in Birmingham in the Birmingham Gazette: “John Cadbury is desirous of introducing to particular notice ‘Cocoa Nibs’, prepared by himself, an article affording a most nutritious beverage for breakfast. Cadbury’s merges with Fry’s and Son 1919. Cadbury’s is best known for Dairy Milk (1905), Flake (1920), Creme eggs (1923), Fruit and Nut (1928), and Crunchie (1929, originally under the Fry's label) Dairy Milk Whole Nut (1933), and tins of Roses (1938.
In 1842 the Englishman Charles Barry sets out for Africa to find cocoa beans that would enable him to create “Cocoa Barry” powder. Merged with Callebaut in 1996.
Rowntree’s buys out Tukes and is founded in 1860 in York; Rowntree’s developed KitKat (1935), Aero (1935), FruitPastilles (1881), Smarties (1937) After Eight (1962), Yorkie and Lion bars (1976). Bought by Nestle in 1990
Late 19th and 20th century sees more chocolate brands appear such as Charbonnel & Walker in 1875, Thorntons in 1911 (now owned by Ferrero since 2015), Mars in 1932, House of Dorchester in 1963, Hotel Chocolat in 1993, Divine in 1998, and Willie’s cacao in 1998.
And more recently, our very own favourite and Partner Melange Chocolate in 2008!
We thank you for your participation,
Programme in partnership with Melange Chocolate
"The True history of Chocolate" Thames & Hudson
"Encyclopedie du chocolate et de la confiserie" AFCC
"Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane" by James Delbourgo
"Chocolate Wars" by Deborah Cadbury
"The Secret Life of Chocolate" by Marcos Patchett