Cadbury Schweppes PLC

Berkeley Square, in the fashionable Mayfair area, ranks right up there with St. James Square in terms of prestige. It's here I find the nine-story headquarters of Cadbury Schweppes, the big beverage and confectionery concern with 1994 revenues of 4 billion pounds, profit 261 million pounds.

From the late 1700's to 1904 the site housed a hotel. In 1904 prestigious apartments were built. In 1989 it was redeveloped into office accommodations with the Grade II listed Edwardian facade of Portland stone saved. Dora McCabe, the amicable Group Public Relations Manager, says the company has occupied the building since 1993.

As expected I find a glass bowl filled with chocolates in the reception area but, I valiantly restrain myself from partaking. Why? I have no self control. It's like trying to eat only one potato chip. The marbled entrance is nice and so is the wood floor in the waiting area. Framed in glass on a waiting room wall is an unwrapped bar of chocolate. The plaque below it says this was the first Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar made by the company's Cadbury Poland plant. Magazines and newspapers on the coffee table includes The Economist, European Markets, The Times, The Financial Times, Banking Technology, Boardroom, and The New Commercial Times.

Over 130 employees work here. The boardroom contains an oval-shaped table with a bowl of chocolate biscuits (a Cadbury product of course) in the center of the table. I like CEO David Wellings' double-sided partners desk in his fourth floor middle office. Because his desk is faced the other way he can't look out onto Berkeley Square. He has one real plant, no computer, six pictures of animals and a small refrigerator next to his desk containing a whole slew of cold Cadbury Schweppes beverages. Though their brands includes Schweppes, Canada Dry, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, Crush, Sunkist, Squirt and other regional brands, I'm disappointed he doesn't have a can of my favorite which I know they own: A&W root beer. McCabe gives me the okay to snatch several cans from Wellings's fridge to try.

There was a Schweppes (Jacob Schweppe) and a Cadbury (John Cadbury). Cadbury and Schweppes merged in 1969. I also don't leave empty-handed, being given a box of chocolates. Unfortunately I end up giving the box of chocolates to someone at Bloomberg's London office (my sponsor). Why? I hate dark chocolate and that's what I was given.