Celebrating over 250 years of the Terry family business

Women at work in the Terry factory in 1930

From chemist to chocolatiers - discover the family side of the Terry story and the crucial part Terry's of York played in the city's chocolate heritage.

The early years

The business was started in 1767 as a small shop in York’s city centre. The owners at that time were William Bayldon and Robert Berry and were succeeded by Joseph Terry in the 1820s.

Joseph Terry - the chemist

Joseph served as an apprentice apothecary in the city centre and set up his own chemist shop. In 1823 he married Harriet Atkinson, a relative of Robert Berry and joined the Berry family business.

Joseph Terry (the younger) - the confectioner

By 1867, the Terry business price list had 400 items but only 13 were chocolate, the rest were boiled sweets and confectionary. The business was based at Clementhorpe by the river.

Thomas Terry - the businessman

Joseph's son by his first marriage took the business international. He died in a road traffic accident leaving Noel Terry without a father figure.

" Terry’s of York was the Rolls Royce of confectionary."
- Tony Coward, former employee at Terry's

Noel and Sir Francis Terry - the chocolatiers

Noel and Francis saw the transition of the business to its Bishopthorpe Road site and led the business through its heyday in the 1920s and 30s. The focus was very much on chocolate with the creation of the iconic Terry's Chocolate Orange and All Gold. 

Wall mural from the old chocolate factory
Wall painting showing a chocolate orange and the words Welcome To Chocolate Orange from the old chocolate factory
Wall mural from the old chocolate factory

Life at Goddards and the Terry family

When you visit, wander the house and garden and get an understanding of life in Noel Terry's family home through memories of what it was like to grow up across the racecourse from the Terry factory.

At the end of the corridor on the first floor the final three rooms focus on the factory, the workers and the legacy that it has left for the city of York. You can find out more about the history of the Terry family business in the comfort of their beautiful home when you next visit.

" We were not allowed to visit the chocolate factory until we were 12 years old. Before that, our closest connection to Terry’s was the chocolate drawer in our father’s study which we were permitted to visit more or less at will."
- Betty Lawrie, daughter of Noel and Kathleen Terry