Another factor that these Yorkshire pioneers had in common was religious non-conformity. In Britain dissenters were barred from many professions and so groups like the Quakers turned their talents and energies to industry, banking and commerce. Quaker entrepreneurs like the Rowntree family were men of drive, ambition but above all of humanity. As people of good conscience they saw it as their duty to uphold ethical principles and at a time when foodstuffs were commonly adulterated their products were manufactured using only the purest ingredients.
The growth of one of England's oldest confectionery companies, Terry's of York, owed much to the skill and enterprise of one such Quaker: Joseph Terry. An apothecary by training, Terry joined an existing confectionery enterprise in 1828 and quickly took charge of it. By establishing a reputation for the quality of their sugar sweets, lozenges, mint cakes, acid drops and 'pomfrit' cakes, Terry and Sons expanded rapidly and moved to a new factory at Clementhorpe in 1862. The firm was among the first in Britain to introduce eating chocolate in the 1880s and it also pioneered boxed chocolate assortments at the turn of the 20th century. Terry's Neopolitans appeared in 1899 while their famous Chocolate Orange was first introduced in 1932.
Another of York's Quaker entrepreneurs was Henry Rowntree who in 1862 bought the York grocery business of William Tuke and Sons. Tukes had specialised in cocoa and chocolate but it was only a small scale operation. Rowntree was determined to increase production and in 1864 set up his first factory at Tanner's Moat in York. At a time when some cocoa makers added cheaper ingredients such as sago flour to give bulk Henry Rowntree insisted on only high quality cocoa, unadulterated, for his Rowntree's Elect Cocoa.
In 1869 Henry Rowntree was joined by his brother Joseph and under their guidance the company expanded rapidly from only 30 employees (1869) to over 4,000 (1900). New product lines were launched including fruit pastilles, fruit gums and boxed chocolates. Traditionally gum sweets had been a French monopoly but in 1881 Rowntree and Company made the decision to compete with their own variety of crystalised fruit sweets (the forerunner of Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles).
Rowntree's oldest surviving chocolate product, the Walnut Whip, was first manufactured in 1910 although many others failed to stand the test of time. Chocolate manufacturers realised from the early days of their industry that there was a need for experimentation and innovation. The Rowntree Company, like its rivals, understood the importance of creative marketing in winning over new customers.