Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year

Can you believe it's 2011 already? Last year seemed to unravel in the blink of an eye. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into reading the books I got for Christmas. "Chocolate Wars: From Cadbury to Kraft: 200 years of Sweet Success and Bitter Rivalry" is first on my list. Written by a descendant of the Cadbury chocolate dynasty, Deborah Cadbury tells the engaging story of the Cadbury's chocolate factory from its inception to its recent takeover by Kraft. All the major English Chocolate brands such as Fry's and Rowntree's were started by Quaker families and the devout religious values that infiltrated their factories have long since given way to modern commerce. The world's chocolate industry is now dominated by just four multi-nationals; Kraft, Nestlé, Mars and Ferrero. Deborah, an acclaimed historian and documentary maker, details this fascinating journey in her book.

Incidently, Urney Chocolates founder Harry Gallagher also had Quaker roots. His mother, Harriet Thomas, came from a County Cork Quaker family. Harry certainly empathized with the Quaker ideal of caring for workers and he devoted much of his time creating a pleasant and safe environment for his employees. The Urney factory became known locally as the factory in a garden- just as the Cadbury factory had many years before in Victorian England.

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