Terry’s of York

Terry's

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York resident and regular contributor. Fascinated by this historic city and always keen to promote local, independent businesses. The man taking the photographs and tweeting from @Jorvik

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Terry’s chocolate and confectionery business has an illustrious history. The Terry family has been immersed in the highly successful chocolate concern for generations. Existing as a confectionery concern originally begun in 1767 by Messrs Bayldon and Berry, it took on the name of Terry’s once Joseph Terry joined the firm in 1823, becoming Terry’s of York in 1828.

Using his skills as a chemist, Joseph developed new lines of confectionery, gradually increasing and perfecting the company’s chocolate products as well as other sweetmeats, candied peel, marmalades and medicated pastilles. By use of the rising North Eastern Railway network, York being its hub, Terry’s was able to distribute  its products widely across the Midlands , the North of England and beyond to London.

Joseph Terry relinquished control to his three sons when he retired in 1850, dying shortly after. Joseph Junior increased the business’s drive, rapidly expanding it, leading to its move four years later to a leased site alongside the River Ouse at Clementhorpe. Under its new name ‘Terry’s of York’, it could conveniently receive shipments of raw materials from the Humber Estuary and a bi-weekly steam ship’s cargo of sugar and cocoa plus coal for fuelling the new steam-powered machinery.

The 1867 price list had 400 items though only 13 were chocolate.

Frank and Noel Terry entered the family business in 1923, revamping it, launching new products and developing a new factory in Bishopthorpe Road, York. Art Deco in style, and boasting a distinct clock tower, the building was known as Terry’s Confectionery Works. This opened in 1926 with new products including the Chocolate Apple (1926), which pipped the Chocolate Orange to the post by 5 years, and Terry’s All Gold, all of which evolved on site.

Terry's Factory - Bishopthorpe Road

Terry’s Factory – Bishopthorpe Road

All confectionery production stopped in 1939 due to WW II. Terry’s factory was appropriated as an extra faculty for manufacturer and repair of aircraft propeller blades. Following the war, rationing and severely limited raw cocoa imports created problems in production. The Chocolate Apple was phased out in 1954 in readiness for stepping up production of the Chocolate Orange – a big seller and one of the best known products.

United Biscuits acquired Terry’s in 1975 but financial issues in the early 90s saw Kraft Foods purchase the confectionery division and amalgamation with Jacobs Suchard, creating Terry’s Suchard.

In 2000 ‘Terry’s of York’ became simply ‘Terry’s’, further trimming the company’s ties to the city. Production was scaled down and in 2004 Kraft Foods transferred production to factories in Europe. The factory, which had at its peak over 700 people employed producing such delights as Terry’s All Gold, finally closed on 30 September 2005.

The Terry family link remains however, with Peter Terry as honorary president of the highly prestigious £140 million concern.

Former chocolate hop still baring the Terry's name

Former chocolate shop still baring the Terry’s name

A once thriving Terry’s chocolate shop and restaurant in St Helen’s Square, now a jeweller’s, still proudly bears the Terry name carved into its stone frontage.

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