Posted in Kafevend Blog
Last week we had a look at the history of Twinings and promised to continue examining some of our country's top tea and coffee companies. We've no intention of reneging on our promise, so this week then we are going to talk about Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate. Unlike Twinings' focus on tea however, this company dabbles in both tea and coffee, and even has a little café chain on the side! Now, where to begin...
The earliest part of the company dates back to 1886, when Charles Taylor established C.E. Taylor and Son in Leeds to import and blend tea and coffee. Choosing high quality goods and taking the hardness of the local water into account, Charles established a good reputation for his new company. Alongside winning a few awards for his blends, he also opened several coffee shops in Yorkshire and tea rooms in Ilkley and Harrogate. So with the Taylors part of the business sorted, where does Bettys come into it?
Bettys was the brainchild of a Swiss man named Fritz Bützer. He was orphaned early on in his life, but went on to serve as an apprentice to several bakers and confectioners around Europe. After finishing his training, he travelled to Britain with the hope of establishing a business using his newfound skills. After earning some money working as a pastry chef in Bradford, he moved to Harrogate, got married, changed his name to Frederick Belmont and opened the first Bettys café- just opposite the Taylors tea room.
Bettys expanded during the first half of the 20th century, opening a few more cafés in towns across Yorkshire and in the city of York itself. It was in one of these cafés in 1962 , according to their story at least, that one of Bettys' waitresses overheard customers talking about how Taylors were looking for new owners. Victor Wild, Frederick's nephew and then the current owner of Bettys, decided to buy Taylors Tea and Coffee. The combination of Taylors' expertise of blending and Bettys' quality cafés has since turned the pairing into a local powerhouse, well respected and loved in the community. Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate remains a family led venture, currently chaired by Jonathan Wild.
Happily, it isn't just Yorkshire who get to enjoy the tea, coffee and cakes on offer from Bettys & Taylors. Their website shows you everything they have to offer and is both easy to navigate and pleasing to look at- there are currently some more specialised items on offer as Halloween looms, so if you're looking for ideas why not give the site a visit? Of course, if you happening to be travelling through or staying in Yorkshire, you owe it to yourself to visit one of Bettys tea rooms which you can find in York, Harrogate, Ilkely and Northallerton. You'd be daft to pass up the opportunity!