COMFORT and joy, provided by one of York's most enduring businesses, delivered the best Christmas period in its 102-year history.

Bettys has marked a positive start to 2022, having achieved a year-on-year increase in sales of 37 per cent despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic to retail and the food and drink industry.

Festive Afternoon Tea was a clear best-seller as the family business saw catering sales in its five café tea room branches across Yorkshire achieve a year-on-year increase of £1.6m.

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Meanwhile, retail sales in branches boomed with significantly higher numbers than previous years and all shops exceeded their retail targets.

The biggest selling items were Bettys’ best-loved classics, including Florentines, Fat Rascals and mince pies.

Online sales also exceed last year by 4.2 per cent. More than 40 per cent of sales were from new customers and 90,000 orders were dispatched to homes around the world, including 25,000 hampers and gift boxes.

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Managing director Simon Eyles said: ‘The Bettys business has had to weather a few storms in its 102-year history.

"When we opened our very first branch, the Great War had been over for less than a year, rationing was still in force, and it was just two months since the third wave of Spanish flu had been declared over in Europe.

"Then, as today, Bettys offered comfort. Beautiful cakes and treats were a reminder that life goes on, that pleasure can be found in small things.

"This year all the teams across the Bettys business have done a truly exceptional job in the face of the worst recruitment challenges we’ve known, and the continuing worries and concerns of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

"I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and cannot thank them enough."

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Bettys tea room in York 

Founded in 1919 by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss confectioner, Bettys remains a traditional family business.

Bettys & Taylors is based in Harrogate, with five Bettys Café Tea Rooms, including York, and a tea and coffee merchants, Taylors of Harrogate, who are the producers of Yorkshire Tea.

Little Bettys, which was located in Stonegate close to the firm’s flagship York tearooms and shop in nearby St Helen’s Square, closed its doors last year.

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Premium drinks company Harrogate Tipple has moved in to the former Little Bettys in Stonegate, after launching a pop-up shop, selling its gin, rum and whisky as well as glassware and gifts.

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Harrogate Tipple founder Steven Green at his new shop in the former Little Beyys in Stonegate, York. Picture: Nadia Jefferson-Brown

Bettys business employs 931 people with 306 working in the Craft Bakery in Harrogate.

The Bakery produces more than 200 Yorkshire and continental specialities and creates millions of products for the Bettys Café Tea Rooms and Bettys online shop.

Within the highly specialist teams of master bakers, chocolatiers and confectioners, many people have more than 20 years’ experience.

Bettys own comprehensive craft skills training ensures the highest standards are maintained for future generations.

Bettys online shop operates from the Craft Bakery in Harrogate delivering parcels throughout the UK and around the world.