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The Story of Bettys

29 July 2016

It all begins with this man, Fritz Bützer – later to become Frederick Belmont – a Swiss orphan who travels Europe learning his trade as a confectioner, baker and chocolatier until one day, he embarks a boat to England to pursue his dream...

1907

Fritz arrives in England intending to work on the south coast, but he boards the wrong train, ending up in Bradford. He finds work in the city at a Swiss-owned confectioners, Bonnet & Sons.

1915

He moves around Yorkshire, styling himself as ‘F. Belmont, Chocolate Specialist’ before settling in Harrogate. He likes his alias and changes his name: Frederick Belmont is born.

Fritz arrives in England intending to work on the south coast, but he boards the wrong train, ending up in Bradford.

1919

Frederick opens the first Bettys Café at 9 Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate. The takings for the first day are £30. Why is it called Bettys? No-one knows.

1922

Frederick Belmont opens his second Bettys Café on 42/44 Darley Street, Bradford – the site of Bonnets, his first employers in England. Six years later he opens a Bettys ballroom nearby.

1927

Bettys announce the introduction of Afternoon Tea, though it is called ‘Yorkshire Tea’ (which would create much confusion today). It is priced 1/3.

1930

Bettys Leeds opens to great fanfare. In his diary, Frederick writes: “Leeds is proving a great success. We opened with a great noise and in good style.”

1937

Bettys York opens. The interior is inspired by the rooms on the Queen Mary liner – Frederick and his wife Claire had been on the Maiden Voyage the previous year.

The first Bettys Café opened in 1919 at 9 Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate. Why is it called Bettys? No-one knows.

1939

Bettys York acquires a liquor licence and becomes a favourite haunt for airmen stationed at the airfields around York. Many sign ‘Bettys mirror’ with a diamond tipped pen.

1952

Frederick dies in his office at Bettys Harrogate. His nephew, Victor Wild, becomes Managing Director, aged 29.

1962

Bettys buys C.E. Taylor & Co to become ‘Bettys & Taylors’. Taylors sourced and blended tea and coffee becomes a much-loved part of the Bettys range.

1964

The Taylors Café Imperial in Ilkley is closed and the Taylors Kiosk in Ilkley is refurbished and reopened as a Betty’s Café & Restaurant in Ilkley.

Bettys York acquires a liquor licence and becomes a favourite haunt for airmen stationed at the airfields around York

1971

Bettys Café in Northallerton opens at 188 High Street. It’s just a few doors down from where the current Bettys Northallerton sits.

1974

The Bettys cafés in Leeds and Bradford close as the business decides to leave the hustle and bustle of the city.

1976

Bettys Harrogate relocates from its premises at 8-11 Cambridge Crescent to the former Taylors Café Imperial at 1 Parliament Street.

2000

Victor Wild cuts the ribbon to open the new Bettys Craft Bakery, just a stone’s throw from the original bakery, which opened in 1922.

2001

Bettys Cookery School opens, and begins sharing Bettys baking secrets with enthusiastic amateurs, aspiring chefs and schoolchildren alike.