THE company behind one of York’s most iconic brands celebrated its centenary yesterday.

The Bettys Tea Rooms franchise turned 100 and marked the grand occasion by offering customers fancy cakes as well as hosting centenary-themed spot prizes throughout the day.

The company also decorated its staff areas with bunting and balloons - while staff enjoyed a slice of Bettys' 100th birthday cake.

Bettys first began on July 17, 1919, at Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate, just opposite the current site.

The chain was opened Fritz Bützer, who left his home in Switzerland in1907 to travel to England with a dream of establishing his own business.

The business expanded to York and opened its famous tea room in St Helen’s Square in 1937, where it has remained ever since.

A second store was added in Stonegate in 1965.

A company spokesperson said: “While 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Bettys, it also represents a celebratory milestone for our whole business.

“This will be a year for showcasing all that we are most proud of and a celebration of the fact that we remain an independent Yorkshire family business with strong values."

Managing Director Simon Eyles added: “On our 100th birthday it’s an honour to celebrate with our local regular customers and fans from further afield.

"I believe the combination of our Swiss heritage, attention to detail and Yorkshire hospitality keeps people coming back time and time again. It’s the unique Bettys experience that has kept us going for a century and will ensure we’re here for the next 100 years.”

Mr Eyles told The Press in April that the cafe is introducing a new bookable afternoon tea in York that includes a vegan menu.