Our History

'Est. 1865' - A Short History of Botham's of Whitby.

Elizabeth Botham and her husband John had five children and ran a farm in Wykeham . They lost everything in an outbreak of cattle plague and moved to Whitby to make a new start. While John was trying to re-establish himself, managing a farm, Elizabeth was having more children and to make ends meet, selling her home-baking around the area and at market, setting out with a green handcart fitted with shelves.

As Elizabeth's reputation for her baking grew so did her family and a move to Raglan terrace saw the opening of the first Botham's shop. After a few more years Botham's moved to Skinner Street, with a shop and an Ale house known as "the hole in the wall". John died in 1880 shortly after Elizabeth had given birth to their fourteenth child.

By the turn of the century the shop had expanded along the street and included the Ingleneuk caf. Elizabeth had bought Stakesby Manor with its farm on the edge of town. Botham's also added a branch on Baxtergate, and Elizabeth's sons Jack and Arthur took over running the company.

After the Second World War the business had passed to Arthur's sons, Billy, Sydney and Neville who extended the premises on Skinner Street and added the branch at Sleights. The Botham brothers were all keen sailors, racing their Dragon class yacht "Tarka".

Today Botham's is run by Neville's children: Nicholas Botham, Sarah and Mike Jarman, Liz Roberts and Jonathan Botham. They have now been joined by Sarah and Mike's daughters: Lois as a director in production, Kay managing the Enterprise way shop and Anita managing the shop and tearoom in Pickering. The other of Elizabeth Botham's great, great grandchildren join in as and when available (or needed!).

Nick is also the second coxswain of the Whitby lifeboat and has taken part in numerous rescues over the past three decades. Mikes precious spare time is devoted to his classic cars, a Triumph TR3a and a Morgan, while Sarah has a Welsh pony and a growing number of grandchildren to keep her busier still! Liz is a keen gardener when she is not creating works of art in icing! Jo has a passion for surfing, year round in the North Sea and swimming in it when there are no waves available; he also helps coaching for Whitby Seals Swimming Club.

Botham's has passed on through five generations, surviving rather like the town of Whitby itself - adapting to ever changing markets without loosing sight of its origins and heritage. High quality produce, made by a dedicated, hardworking and loyal staff using traditional methods and recipes. At the same time, technology has given us a global shop window via the internet and our range of wrapped cakes and biscuits can be enjoyed far beyond Whitby's traditional boundaries of the sea and North York Moors.

Elizabeth Botham and family

Above: Elizabeth Botham with family at Stakesby Manor, Whitby
Below: Skinner Street tea rooms - not a lot has changed!

Cafe early photograph

Shop Front early photograph

Skinner Street shop showing the cafe that was on the ground floor.
"The more northern portion contains the shop itself, with an "L"-shaped counter and a great variety of cakes and pastries - in particular round butter-cakes with a thick layer of sugar and butter between sponge cake, and a top all ornamented with little horns of butter and sugar, the whole confection quartered in pink and yellow.
The southern portion of the frontage was occupied as a cafe, decorated within in ye-olde-worlde manner with oak tables and an inglenook. It has green and purple stained glass windows facing the street.."

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