ROWNTREES The Early History
By Paul Chrystal. Hardback Book, 203 pages, 40 Black & White Illustrations.
The Rowntree family are, together with the Frys, Cadburys, Mars and Terrys, synonymous with the birth and growth of the chocolate industry in Britain.
This book begins with the early history of the Rowntree family and their ‘chocolate empire’. They were based in York, where Henry Rowntree (1838–1883) founded one of the UK’s largest confectionery businesses. His hard work helped the business through some dark, sometimes humorous, times when cash was low and the company lurched from crisis to crisis. Joseph, his elder brother, became the driving force to global success, mixing his hectic business life with benevolent management, paving the way for decent wages, pensions, insurance and mutual respect in the workplace. Joseph pursued industrial espionage and advancements in chocolate production with 20th-century rivals in the domestic and export markets. Rowntree’s role in the two world wars is covered, along with Joseph Rowntree’s struggle to accept the importance of advertising. This book provides fascinating biographies of a pair of exceptional brothers who came together to form one of our greatest companies – producing some of our best-loved confectionery products.