21st
Aug
2013

Posted in Kafevend Blog

In 1824, the Quaker John Cadbury opened a shop on Bull Street in Birmingham. Amongst other items, he sold tea, coffee and drinking chocolate; the latter he made himself using a pestle and mortar. A few years later, he expanded the business and moved further into the production of chocolate, establishling a factory based in a warehouse on Crooked Lane.

In the '40s, his brother Benjamin joined him and together they formed 'The Cadbury Brothers of Birmingham' company. In 1847 they expanded once more with a large factory on Bridge Street brought into the fold. Up until this point, the chocolate sold by John, and later the company, had mainly been bought by the wealthier classes. They were even providing chocolate to the Royal family in Britain, receiving a Royal warrant in 1854. In the same year however, a reduction on the import tax of cocoa meant that it became available to a wider audience as production costs dropped.

In 1861, John's sons Richard and George were given control of the company. Whilst business was tough, by the late '70s they were still in the position of needing to find a new site for the company due to its growth- a state of affairs that stands testament to their abilities. The company moved to a new estate based in the countryside just south of Birmingham. Renamed Bournville, a model village was created alongside the new factory, providing workers with comparatively high quality housing for the time period, along with facilities like schools and playing fields. The Bournville site remains the headquarters for Cadbury in Britain to this day.

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