John Cadbury: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about John Cadbury, the famous Victorian chocolate factory owner and businessman.

  • John Cadbury was born in 1802 and he owned a small chocolate company in Birmingham, England. He is famous for creating the modern chocolate bar by developing a process to harden chocolate.

  • Cadbury was a Quaker and was not allowed to join the military or go to university. He naturally turned towards business and he also founded the Animal Friends Society.
  • John Cadbury opened his first shop in 1824 – it sold silk and drapery. Cadbury installed a plate glass shop window, which at the time was quite advanced, and hired a Chinese man to work there.
  • Cadbury’s first chocolate factory opened in 1831 in Birmingham. By 1842, the company was producing and selling 16 varieties of drinking chocolate.

John Cadbury

  • John Cadbury and his brother were given their first Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1854. It meant they were the official cocoa and chocolate makers for the Queen.
  • In 1868, the Cadbury company manufactured and sold the first mass produced box of chocolates, in addition to selling individual bars and chocolate pieces.
  • John Cadbury retired from the chocolate business in 1861, and his two sons took over. In his later years he was in poor health; he died in 1889 and is buried in Birmingham.
  • In 1895, the Cadbury family purchased 120 acres of land near Birmingham, to house their workers. The village was called Bournville and is still seen as a model society.
  • By 1897, Cadbury was producing chocolate bars made with milk. In 1875, the company produced their first Easter Eggs, filled with sugar coated chocolate pieces.
  • Today, Cadbury is the second largest candy and chocolate company in the world. The company employs over 70,000 people in 50 countries.

What next? Discover some interesting Victorian facts, learn about some other famous Victorians, or find out about Victorian factories and their reform.