The Chocolate Cult: Birthday of John Cadbury

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday of John Cadbury

Some inventors affect our lives immediately and some change the world for generations to come.  John Cadbury did both as a chocolatier in the 19th century.  Today, his birthday, let's look into what exactly he did for the world.  Born in 1801 in Birmingham, England, Cadbury was part of the Quaker chocolate tradition that changed the nature of chocolate throughout Europe and the USA.  With an ethical drive to either succeed in business or not do it, the Quakers combined company savvy with moral imperatives to do good for the community and world around them.  Whenever they ventured into the chocolate world, they changed it.

John Cadbury changed it in several ways.  First he invented an emulsification process that allowed solid chocolate to be make into bars, thus beginning the modern chocolate bar wave that ushered in cheaper chocolate for the masses.  However during his lifetime the company focused primarily are cocoa and chocolate drinks.

He also paid his workers better than the average salary and tried to improve their lives via several work and free time activities. Today we'd fine such employer interaction in our lives to be overbearing but at the time it was enlightened behavior.  John also worked to help animals and child laborers throughout England via both legislation and work with private organizations.  Other Quaker confectioners did similar things for their workers and later his inheritors would continue their work at both the company and national level, always with an eye to what would make the business better and profitable.

Online Resources Consulted:

Books Consulted:
"The Chocolate Wars" by Deborah Cadbury

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