The earliest recorded confectioner in York was John Reilly. John became a Freeman of the city in 1646 under the trade of "Confectioner". At that time a craftsman could not have established their trade unless they were a freeman of the city.
William Bayldon, a Grocer and Robert Berry, an apothecary established their confectionery business in York, eventually becoming Terry's of York. Terry's 1767 collection was a tribute to the date when it all started.
Henry Isaac Rowntree expanded the business to establish the factory at Tanners Moat before expanding along the River Ouse. Following financial difficulties Henry Isaac was joined in the business by his elder brother, Joseph who lead the business after Henry Isaac's death.
By 1901 Cravens employed over 100 pairs of hands at the French Almond Works on Coppergate. They became so renowned for their French Almonds that Craven Pink - the colour of the sugar coated treats became an iconic shade of pink.
The roaring 20's brought large growth in consumer demand for chocolate. Unable to expand on their Clementhorpe site Noel and Francis Terry purchased the site on Bishopthorpe Road where they created the Chocolate Works, an elegant, purpose built chocolate factory where they would create iconic products such as the Chocolate Orange and All Gold.
Chocolate Maker Percy Lazenby moves to York from Needlers of Hull to establish his Chocolate company on Hull Road, making quality chocolate for companies like Cravens. The company were extremely successful high quality chocolate makers until post World War 2 consumer confidence and growth drove the larger brands to create chocolate cheaper in a bid to make it a more accessible consumer good.
Consumer demand and effective working practices saw Rowntree's of York grow to a workforce of 14,000 with their own village and fire brigade. The city was renowned for the hoards of cyclists that would leave the factory as the shifts ended, while the factory floors would come to life with the voices of the factory girls singing en-masse during their shifts.
Cravens expanded out of the Coppergate site in the 1960's establishing works at Foss Islands Road and Poppleton Road. The demolition of the French Almond Works on Coppergate in the 1970's lead to the discovery of Viking York where the Jorvik centre can now be found.
Cravens of York still continues in spirit with the site at Poppleton Road now owned by Tangerine Confectionery where they continue to make classic confectionery treats for UK consumers.