Class of 2010
Joseph Terry was born in Pocklington, England, on November 11, 1793, to Thomas and Elizabeth. Growing up, he was an apothecary’s apprentice before opening his own business in Walmgate, York.
He married Harriet Atkinson in 1823, and through his wife met Robert Berry, whose family made candied fruit peel. Joseph became immediately involved with the business and the two formed a partnership called Terry & Berry, with Joseph gaining full control by 1828. His upbringing in his father’s bakery and his earlier apothecary business experience gave him excellent grounding to produce new products, and Terry’s of York quickly developed a wide reputation.
His company produced a range of items, including fruit cakes, biscuits and sugar confectionery, such as mint balls, acid drops and medicated lozenges.
By harnessing the trade capabilities of newly developed railroads, Joseph established retail outlets in 75 towns during the 1830s, where he sold products mainly in the north, but also in the midlands and London.
Influential in the Regency-era confectionery industry, sources report he helped establish the London-based Association for the Protection of Public and Trade Confectioners and Lozenge Makers in 1836. The society was formed to protect against individuals manufacturing or vending lozenges and confectionery made with harmful ingredients.
Joseph died in 1850 in Huntington, York, at age 56. At the time of his death, he employed 127 workers, making him the second-largest employer in the area, and his brand’s name was recognized throughout Britain.
By 1867, the company’s price list included 400 items, about 13 of which were chocolate, and Terry’s remained a family business until it was purchased by Kraft in 1993. Today, the Terry’s brand is known around the world.