Our Story

The Cadbury History

The inspiration behind Love Cocoa comes from founder James Cadbury's, great-great-great grandfather John Cadbury, who set up Cadbury chocolate nearly 200 years ago. The philanthropist built Cadbury on great ethical grounds, looking after its workforce and improving civil rights. With the family no longer involved, the business was subject to a hostile takeover in 2010 being sold to a US company. . .

  • 1824

    Aged 22, John Cadbury opens up a grocery shop in Birmingham. As a Quaker, he refuses to serve the popular beverage alcohol, and instead sells tea, coffee and most notably, cocoa and drinking chocolate.

  • 1831

    John Cadbury becomes a manufacturer, renting a warehouse in Crooked Lane for the production of cocoa and chocolate.

  • 1861

    An ailing John Cadbury passes the business onto his sons George & Richard aged just 21 & 25, with the business in decline.

  • 1866

    George Cadbury goes out to Holland, not knowing a word of Dutch, and buys an innovative new cocoa press from Coenraad Johannes van Houten.

    The press squeezed out much of the cocoa butter from the beans, so it wasn’t necessary to add starches with brick dust commonly used at the time!

    This resulted in the launch of 'Cadbury's Cocoa Essence', the UK's first unadulterated cocoa, marketed as 'Absolutely Pure. Therefore Best’.

    This helped transform a small business into a worldwide company.

  • 1879

    Cadbury starts to outgrow the Birmingham factory and begins looking for land to build its new premises.

    The brothers, keen to move away from the grubby conditions of the city, set about building their "factory in a garden" to provide a clean and healthy working environment for employees.

    They buy land 4 miles from Birmingham and name the new factory Bournville.

  • 1893

    Cadbury built 24 houses for their key workers before building another 300 houses to form Bournville Village. It was important that they looked after their workers and went to great lengths to do this.

  • 1901

    Philantropist George Cadbury purchased the Daily News and used it to campaign for old age pensions and against sweat labour. As a pacifist, Cadbury was also a strong opponent of the Boer War and used this paper to urge the British government against War.

  • 1905

    First Dairy Milk is launched

  • 1906

    George Cadbury paid £60,000 into a pension fund for his employees. He wanted to ensure every worker was looked after properly and that they lived a good life. He donated much of his fortune to charities, hospitals, and his devoted workforce.

  • 1922

    George Cadbury dies at Northfield Manor on 24th October.

  • 1985

    James Cadbury is born.

    His family are no longer involved in the chocolate business with his family known for their generosity and philanthropy.

  • 2010

    Cadbury becomes part of Mondelēz International after a hostile takeover and controversy. The much loved British firm is now in hands of the American owners who make a number of promise including that to keep open British factories.

  • 2010

    Within weeks of the takeover going through, Kraft announced it was going to close the Somerdale factory. Four hundred jobs were lost.

  • 2016

    Love Cocoa is launched in July 2016, built on the strong ethical foundations that Cadbury initially espoused.

  • 2017

    Love Cocoa gain first listings at Fortnum & Mason's, 100 years after they stocked the original Cadbury products.

  • NOW

The Bournville Story

James Cadbury Interview with Campaign Magazine

Interview with The Telegraph