Yorkshire's 170 year biscuit history
As we approach National Biscuit Day on 29th May we wanted to delve into the history of biscuits and how Yorkshire has made a big impact on the nations favourite sweet treat! When it comes to Yorkshire's connection to biscuits, there's a rich and fascinating story to be told. From the early days of Fox's Biscuits to the rise of Grandma Wild's, Yorkshire has played a major role in the world of biscuits. In this blog, we take you on a journey through the history of biscuits, exploring how these tasty treats have evolved over the years.
To truly appreciate the story of biscuits, we have to go back in time. Biscuits have been baked in Yorkshire for centuries, with recipes passed down through families and communities. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that the biscuit industry began to take shape. This was thanks in large part to the Industrial Revolution, which brought new technologies and methods of production to the region.
One of the earliest and most well-known Yorkshire biscuit companies is Fox's Biscuits. The company was founded in 1853 by Michael Spedding and his brother-in-law, Robert Fox. They started out in a small end terrace house still standing at 17 Whitaker Street, Batley. Quickly growing to a handful of employees baking biscuits in a small bakery in Batley. However, they quickly expanded, opening new factories and introducing new products.
One of the keys to Fox's success was their commitment to quality. They used only the finest ingredients and paid close attention to every step of the baking process. This dedication to excellence earned them a loyal following, and by the early 20th century, Fox's had become one of the largest biscuit manufacturers in the UK.
Over the years, Fox's Biscuits continued to innovate and adapt to changing tastes. They introduced new products like the Party Ring and the Chunkie Cookie, which became instant classics. They also embraced new technologies, investing in state-of-the-art equipment to streamline production and improve efficiency.
Despite these changes, however, Fox's never lost sight of their roots. They continued to use traditional recipes and techniques, ensuring that their biscuits remained true to their Yorkshire heritage. Today, Fox's Biscuits is still going strong, with a wide range of products that are beloved by biscuit lovers across the UK and beyond.
While Fox's Biscuits may be the best-known Yorkshire biscuit brand, they're not alone. Another iconic company is Grandma Wild's, which has been baking biscuits in the heart of Yorkshire since 1899. The company was founded by Annie Wild, who started out baking biscuits in her own kitchen. Her creations were so popular that she soon opened a small bakery, which eventually grew into a thriving business.
Like Fox's, Grandma Wild's has a strong commitment to quality and tradition. They use only the finest ingredients, and they bake their biscuits using traditional methods. What sets Grandma Wild's apart, however, is their unique range of products. They offer everything from classic shortbread to more unusual flavors like ginger and lemon.
One of the things that makes Grandma Wild's so special is their connection to the local community. They're deeply rooted in Yorkshire, and they're proud to support local initiatives and events. This commitment to the region has earned them a loyal following, and their biscuits are now sold in shops and cafes across the UK.
Today, biscuits continue to be a beloved part of British culture. While many of the original biscuit companies have been acquired by larger conglomerates, like Fox's, the spirit of Yorkshire biscuit-making lives on. Companies like Lottie Shaws, Cartwright & Butler and Grandma Wild's continue to innovate and adapt, while also staying true to their traditional roots.
One of the things that makes biscuits so special is their versatility. They can be enjoyed as a simple snack, or they can be used to create more elaborate desserts and treats. They're also a popular choice for gifts and souvenirs, with many visitors to Yorkshire taking home boxes of biscuits as a tasty reminder of their trip.
If you're looking to sample some of the best Yorkshire biscuits, there are plenty of options to choose from here. We stock a wide range of Grandma Wild's, Lottie Shaws, Cartwright & Butler and our very own branded selection. Whatever you choose, you can't go wrong with our hand picked selection, especially when enjoyed with a Yorkshire cup of tea! Enjoy!