- Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate
The first Bettys tearoom was opened on Cambridge Crescent in
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss confectioner, in 1919. The Harrogate tearooms later moved to their current position on Parliament Street.
Belmont arrived in England at Kings Cross Station, being able to speak little English and losing his document with the address of his destination . After confronting many passers by, an old gentleman who spoke a small amount of French managed to tell him where he was going, Bradford. Belmont returned to Kings Cross shouting "Bradfat" at any train station official he could find, eventually he managed to board the correct train to Bradford. In the 1920s, Belmont opened a
craft bakeryin Harrogate, which meant it was possible to open more tearooms, including a Yorkbranch. The merger with Taylors of Harrogate came about in 1962.
The origin of the name is unknown. The company's website suggests four possibilities:
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II (which seems unlikely as she did not come to public prominence until marrying the Duke of York in 1923); Betty Lupton, former manager of the Harrogate Spa; the daughter of a previous occupant of the Harrogate premises who died of tuberculosis; or a small child who interrupted a meeting at which the choice of name was being discussed.
There are currently six Bettys tearooms, which all comprise a shop as well as a café. The locations of the tearooms are:
*Bettys Harrogate - Parliament Street,
*Bettys York -
St. Helen's Square, York
*Little Bettys - Stonegate,
*Bettys Northallerton - High Street,
*Bettys Ilkley - The Grove,
*Bettys Harlow Carr - RHS Harlow Carr
St Helen's Square café in York became Bettys flagship. It was inspired by the magnificent Queen Mary Cruise liner and became particularly popular during World War IIwhen the basement ‘Bettys Bar’ became a favourite with hundreds of American and Canadian ‘ Bomber Boys’ who were stationed around York. ‘Bettys Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display at the branch today.
In the 1960s Bettys joined forces with another Yorkshire business, family tea and coffee merchants,
Taylors of Harrogate, who still manufacture Yorkshire Tea.
Until 1976 there was a Bettys tea room in
Leeds, West Yorkshire, in Commercial Street in premises now (as at February 2008) used as a mobile phone shop.
Bettys have refused many times to open a branch outside Yorkshire, claiming that keeping Bettys small means a watchful eye can be kept on every detail.
Working for Bettys and Taylors
In 2007 Bettys and Taylors was 72nd in a list of "the 100 best companies to work for" compiled by the The Sunday Times [cite news | url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/career_and_jobs/best_100_companies/article1474129.ece | title=Bettys and Taylors| work=The Sunday Times| date=2007-03-11| accessdate=2008-05-05]
* [http://www.bettysandtaylors.co.uk Bettys and Taylors]
* [http://www.bettys.co.uk Bettys Tea Rooms Website]
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