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A Sweet Day Out in Birmingham

For those with a sweet tooth

John Cadbury opened the original Cadburys shop in Bull Street, Birmingham in 1824. It was a sort of cafe, selling coffeee, tea and home made cocoa and drinking chocolate. These latter two were an expensive luxury in those days, probably only affordable to the richer city inhabitants. Good advertising and marketing meant that his shop soon became the place to be.

After going into partnership with his brother Benjamin, the obvious next step was to move into the manufacture of the expensive items such as cocoa and drinking chocolate. This was helped tremendously when the government slashed the import duty on cocoa. This opened the market right up. In 1854, the company was granted a royal warrant for supplying chocolate for Queen Victoria. This was a high spot but there were times when business was tough.

Eventually the tide turned, especially after the invention of cocoa essence. Business was booming and the move to the current home at Bournville, Birmingham was made. This was built on nearly fifteen acres of countryside, with the factory beng completed in 1879. This allowed more expansion (and an increase in the range and quality of products), including the world famous Cadbury’s milk chocolate. Cadburys eventually caught up and surpassed it’s European competitors. Personal favourites must be the Cadburys creme eggs. Yummy. At the turn of the century, the had over two and a half thousand workers.

As Quakers, the family were tears ahead when it came to looking after workers. They built the world famous Bournville Village. Housing for it’s workers in an open spacious, healthy environment (not like the usual “workers cottages” at all. The also provided education and pensions for their employees, which was unheard at the time.

Anyway, what about Cadburys World?

Here’s what you can do. You can have a bash at being a chocolateer. That’s right. Make your own chocolate! What about a trip to the Aztec jungle. You’ll see how the cocoa beans that make the chocolate are grown. You can see a real life recreation of Bull Street, Birmingham, the place where it all started back in 1824. See what shops were really like in those days. There’s loads more, like the puple planet, the 4 G chocolate experience, take a ride in a giant cocoa been in Cadabara. It’s well worth a day out!


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