Wanted: Fat Rascal who can sniff out the best chocolate

HIS expertise as a chocolatier was the inspiration behind one of Yorkshire’s best-loved companies, which has become a brand recognised around the globe.

Caroline Grant, General Manager at Bettys Craft Bakery in Harrogate

And Bettys is now looking to recruit the 21st century equivalent of Frederick Belmont, the man who launched the Harrogate-based firm’s first tea rooms nearly 100 years ago.

The successful candidate will be charged with overseeing the chocolate and patisserie products created by a 40-strong team of skilled workers at the North Yorkshire headquarters of Bettys.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They will also be responsible for sourcing some of the world’s finest ingredients from across the globe, such as the rare Venezuelan Criollo bean used in chocolate creations as well as liaising with the Swiss family chocolatier business, Felchlin, used by Bettys.

And in a very modern take on chocolate and cake production, the new manager will help evolve the ever-expanding online sales which have emerged as a key element of the Bettys empire since its mail order service was initially launched in 1986.

Bettys Craft Bakery’s general manager, Caroline Grant, told the Yorkshire Post the new recruit would play a vital role in driving forward the business, while also having the chance to showcase their skills in creating chocolate and cake product lines.

Miss Grant, who has been working with Bettys for the last 16 years, said: “Chocolate and patisserie were key parts of Bettys’ early success when we opened in 1919 and are a very important element of Bettys’ future.

“We are searching for an outstanding craftsperson to step into the shoes of our founder, Frederick Belmont, a most gifted Swiss master chocolatier and confectioner.

“We are coming up to the 100th anniversary of the business being founded, and we want to recruit someone who will help lay the foundations for taking Bettys into the next 100 years.”

While Miss Grant would not be drawn on the salary the new post will attract, she stressed the successful candidate will have both chocolate and patisserie making expertise as well as key management skills.

The recruitment drive will be attempting to lure candidates from the world’s leading restaurants, or more traditional artisan chocolatier or bakery backgrounds.

Miss Grant added: “The new manager will have sound expertise in working with chocolate and cakes and the leadership skills to head up our teams of chocolatiers and confectioners.

“As Bettys’ fame for fine handmade chocolates and cakes continues to grow internationally through our expanding online shop, the successful applicant will be helping to inspire new delights for our discerning customers while maintaining Frederick’s exacting high standards and attention to detail.

“As well as developing our capability to achieve future growth, the new manager will be responsible for setting, managing and achieving budgets and driving continuous improvement.”

Working between the chocolate and patisserie departments at the craft bakery, the successful applicant will also deliver chocolate-making courses at the neighbouring Bettys Cookery School and work with professional bodies such as The Academy of Culinary Arts.

The bakery handcrafts more than 200 specialities daily ranging from the famous Fat Rascals to Pink Champagne truffles for the six Bettys Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate, York, Northallerton and Ilkley, as well as the firm’s online shop.

The successful candidate will also help boost sales for some of Bettys’ favourite products, such as the Vanilla Slice which sells more than 80,000 a year. Another all-time favourite is the Fondant Fancy, which has seen sales up 34 per cent year on year with more than 150,000 sold in the last 12 months.

The internet is seen as a key area of expansion for Bettys, with online sales seeing a 30 per cent growth in recent years. While sales of patisserie products are confined to the UK due to the need to ensure they remain fresh for delivery, chocolate items are posted out worldwide as they have a longer shelf-life. Latest figures have shown nearly a quarter of all chocolate sales are now made over the internet.