Cadbury Chocolate: Birmingham’s Legacy to the World

Merry Christmas to all my friends, followers, and fellow chocolate lovers. I am thrilled to celebrate this special week with a guest post from a colleague of mine who just happens to live in Bournville, England, home to the iconic British chocolate company of Cadbury. Many thanks to Ryazan Tristram, who brings us this insightful post on some special memories of Christmas in the land of Cadbury Chocolate.

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The German Christmas Market in Birmingham is filled with fun and sights.

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Cadbury Chocolate treats make lots of children happy around the world.

Birmingham’s Christmas Market

A Christmas without chocolate is incomplete. Birmingham is known for the famous Christmas Market in the UK and in Europe. Annually, people visit and enjoy the festive merriment in the city. Only a stone’s throw away from the festive market is Bournville, the home of the world most loved purple wrapped chocolate – Cadbury. Cadbury World is one of the points of interest in Birmingham for family and young at heart and includes a chocolate museum to explore.

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A visit to Cadbury World is a must for any chocolate lover who visits Bournville, England.

It is in Bournville where all the magic of this delicious chocolate is made. Cadbury’s first factory was built here by a British visionary, John Cadbury with a vision that changed the world of chocolate up to our current generation and surely many more to come.

A little history about Cadbury 

In 1824, a young quaker named John Cadbury started selling tea, coffee, and drinking chocolate in Bull Street, Birmingham. John started small with a grocery shop at 93 Bull Street. The company he started would go on to become a world recognised brand, known simply as Cadbury Chocolate.

As a quaker, John believed that alcohol was the main cause of poverty and he wanted his products, such as drinking chocolate to serve as an alternative. The Cadbury family were devout Quakers and believed that all people should be treated equally. The true legacy of the Cadbury family is not the chocolate, but the social reforms they put in place. (Doreen’s note: The story and vision of John Cadbury must have been the inspiration for Milton Hershey of the US, who setup a very similar community-based Hershey Chocolate business in Hershey, PA.)

The vision of George Cadbury (John’s son) was to build good quality low cost homes in a healthy environment for his workers. This vision went on to become the area known today as Bournville. The Birmingham council preserved the legacy and wishes of the Cadbury family by maintaining the pub free zone in Bournville.

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We all know you shouldn’t feed chocolate to your pets, but Lily the cat can still admire Cadbury’s shiny purple packaging.

Our most-loved cadbury chocolate now

Over the decades Cadbury Chocolate has transformed the chocolate industry and became a household name that much of the world truly loved. When I was still living in the Philippines, I would make sure to save a little money on my 13th month pay to buy myself a bar of Cadbury Chocolate for Christmas. Chocolate can be expensive in the Philippines and Cadbury is considered a luxury brand.

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Cadbury World offers a wide range of Cadbury chocolate products to purchase for yourself or a gift.

I’ve never imagined that now that I’m living here in Birmingham–in the world of Cadbury where it all began–is just a stone’s throw away from me. There are many varieties of Cadbury chocolates that have been a favourite since Victorian times. Even Queen Victoria loved Cadbury Chocolate, giving the company Royal recognition from the Royal Household.

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Cadbury Roses are an iconic product of the Cadbury chocolate company in the UK.

Christmas won’t be complete without a big tub of Cadbury Roses chocolates to share with your friends and family. The classic tub of Cadbury roses symbolises the beautiful roses in the garden of Bournville where the Cadbury factory was built. Cadbury Roses is more than just a mere chocolate but also a symbol of community built by the Cadbury family for their employees and well-being.

The classic flavours of Cadbury Chocolate are the Dairy Milk bar, Fruit and Nuts bar, Turkish delight, and Crème eggs–just to mention a few. The chocolates in Cadbury World also comes in various sizes and shapes. A pre-made special designed chocolate can also be ordered and the whopping 1 kilo Cadbury milk chocolate bars are also available.

My personal favourites are the Cadbury Misshapes, the kilo chocolate bar of Cadbury and the cute little chocolate frog called Fredo. Let us know if you have been to Cadbury World in Bournville! Please share your favourite Cadbury chocolates or memories in the comment stream below.

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Ryazan Tristram

Many thanks to blogger Ryazan Tristram, the Miss Zan-shine of Everything Zany. She is named after a Russian city near Moscow. Ryazan likes to travel, learn about history, meet people, and try exotic foods! She is planning to explore more countries with her D.I.Y. trips as a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina). Find her at Everything Zany – A Photography, Lifestyle and Dual Citizen Travel Blog.

Doreen’s closing note: In a request from a reader via Twitter, I’ve been encouraged to bring the Cadbury ownership situation up to date, as much has changed within the company since 1969, when it merged with Schweppes, was then sold to Kraft Foods in 2010, and subsequently became a subsidiary of Mondelēz International. So it would appear that Britain’s flagship chocolate company is now under American ownership.

This newspaper article gives more details. Regardless of who now owns Cadbury Chocolate, it is indisputable that this iconic British chocolate company had a tremendous impact on the world of contemporary chocolate, and has inspired other companies like Hershey to form and have tremendous influence as well. Money can change ownership and procedures, but it cannot change history.

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Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

29 Responses

  1. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great to read a post on England! Birmingham is roughly four hours away. Who knew Mr Cadbury started this venture in 1824 – I wonder if he knew how big his venture would become.

    My favourite chocolate is dark chocolate as I find it less sweet. If I had to choose it would be Cadbury fruit and nut.

  2. I love Cadbury chocolate. It is neat to learn more about it. Merry Christmas to all.

  3. Linda
    Twitter:
    says:

    The history of the Cadbury family is very interesting. I wonder if the Cadbury sold in America is sweeter than the original recipe from Birmingham. BTW, I love Buttons!

  4. Kathy Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    I grew up on Cadbury’s but it can’t compete with Green and Black I’m afraid for me. But it’s still the most recognizable brand in the UK. Merry Christmas Doreen!!

    • Hi Kathy. Yes, I think many of us grew up on Cadbury Chocolate. We may have moved on to other favourite brands now, but those iconic chocolate brands like Cadbury and Hershey’s are the foundation of the world of contemporary chocolate. Merry Christmas to you, too! 🙂

  5. Catarina says:

    Having lived in London for 15 years I have to admit I never managed to develop a taste for Cadbury’s chocolate. Kept on trying but in my opinion their chocolate in not delicious so I finally stopped bying their chocolate. .

  6. Monika
    Twitter:
    says:

    My son went on a school trip to Cadbury World a few years ago – when he returned he’d clearly learned a lot about chocolate production but less about the history of its founders. How fascinating! Thanks for sharing in this post.

    • Doreen
      Twitter:
      says:

      You’re welcome, Monika. As a kid, I’m sure your son would have been more interested in the chocolate and how it’s made vs info about the founder of the company. We definitely have the Cadbury family for helping bring chocolate to the masses. All the best to you for a happy and healthy holiday season.

  7. I have grown up relishing the Cadbury Diary Milk bar. It is one of the common gifting items to kids and even elders when we can’t think of any specific present. I always thought any big chocolate can be called as Cadbury. It never came to my mind that the name on the wrapper can also have some significance. From today onwards, whenever I get hold of Cadbury chocolates, I will remember this post.
    Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

    • Season’s Greetings, Moumita! Isn’t it interesting how our perception is so different around the world? It sounds like in India, the name Cadbury is interchangeable with the perception of any quality chocolate? Thx so much for joining the conversation. All the best to you for 2018. 🙂

  8. Really interesting article, and now I need some Cadbury Fruit and Nut…

    My Aunt and Uncle emigrated to the USA in the early 1950s and we used to send them regular supplies of Cadbury chocolate, as they never quite developed the same taste for Hershey chocolate. These days my stateside cousins can buy Cadbury locally.

    A slightly belated Merry Christmas, a slightly premature Happy New Year and the Best of Chocolate to you :^)

    • Hi Roy, and Happy Christmas and New Year to you, too! Always great to hear from you. 🙂 I do believe Cadbury is now available worldwide. But I’d love to do a taste testing with American Cadbury alongside the British version to see if I can could taste a difference. I know that milk chocolate does taste different across the world dependent on the type of milk being used, so that is likely to account for a difference in taste. Have you tasted the new Sprungli bars that are made from cow’s milk where the cows only ate a very special hay? They do taste very delicious. I’ll be doing a post on that next week, so stay tuned!

  9. I must get to a European, and a British, christmas market! I learn so much on your blog about chocolate…who knew it had such a history??

  10. A friend’s dad worked for Cadbury, which is how I found out that they are located in Birmingham–a city I only stopped over on my way to Wales. Good reason to come back, for sure.

  11. Francesca
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very interesting read and now I see the connection between Cadbury and Hershey. I do enjoy Cadbury but only when I’m outside of the U.S. I never buy it at home. Isn’t that weird??

  12. Cadbury Easter Eggs!Enough said 🙂 I saw a youtube video of this place not long ago, looks so cool. I hope one day to visit it. Love the kitty, I want to play with the purple wrapper too!

  13. I loved the picture of the ginger/chocolate town. When I think of Cadbury, I think about the ads for Easter, where different animals are auditioning for the bunny.
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Abhi says:

    Yummy, I love this chocolate…

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