If you haven’t heard of John Cadbury, you will almost certainly have heard of (and tasted) Cadburys chocolate at some point. The history of Cadbury as manufacturers of chocolate products in Birmingham dates back to the early part of the 19th century, when John Cadbury opened a shop in the centre of the city, trading as a coffee and tea dealer. Soon a new sideline was introduced – cocoa and drinking chocolate, which he prepared himself with recipes comprised of cocoa beans, A sugar, flour, A starch and milk; using a mortar and pestle.
The Cadbury story is a fascinating study of industrial and social development, covering well over a century and a half. It shows how a small family business developed into an international company combining the most sophisticated technology with the highest standards of quality, technical skills and innovation. The one-man business, opened in 1824, by a young member of a family of Quakers (non-conformists), is now one of the worlds largest chocolate producers.
In the 19th century the Cadbury family were members of one of the many non-conformist groups developed in the 17th century in protest against the formalism of the Established Church. Quakers held strong beliefs and ideals which carried into campaigns for justice, equality and social reform, putting an end to poverty and deprivation. As nonconformists, Quakers weren’t allowed to enter the Universities, which in the 19th century were closely linked with the Established Church. Read more