In 1854, a joiner by the name of John Cockett moved from Masham to the magical little market town of Hawes to help with renovations on the local church. He soon became a local himself, changing his career path by setting up a butchers shop on the main street. A son, Alfred, was born who grew up into the family butchery business. Alfred went on to marry Mary Whaley, a local farmer's daughter. Together, they had a son who they named John Whaley Cockett.
John Whaley Cockett took over the family butchery business and also went on to marry a farmer's daughter, Constance Metcalfe. From a young age Constance had taken a keen interest in baking. Following her marriage to John Whaley Cockett, she began to run a tearoom from the family home. To help Connie expand her business, her father donated a sum of fifty pounds which she used to purchase a new oven. She could now bake to her heart's content. Connie's cream eclairs, cream horns and her famous Cockett's fruitcake, soon earned her tearoom an excellent reputation. The tearoom business at the family home flourished. In 1944 the Cockett family moved their home to the butchers shop. It seemed a natural progression for Connie to move her business, and her newly purchased oven, with her. It was here that her famous bakery goods were displayed and sold, just as they are today.
John Whaley Cockett and Connie Cockett had three children : John, Dorothy and Kathleen. John Cockett not only continued the family business with the help of his sisters and his wife Shelia, but he was equally well-known for his Hawes Amateur Operatic Society productions, which played to full houses for more than 30 years.
John Cockett provided the fifth generation of the Cockett family, who run the shop today. Louise Cockett works in the bakery and can often be found serving customers in the shop front. She has versatile talent, being able to fill in any staff role from baking, to working one of the ten ovens to skillfully icing occasion cakes. David Cockett trained at Thomas Danby college in Leeds, where he grew his already existing skill in butchery. David personally sources all of the meat that is sold and served in the shop. Daniel Cockett, the youngest of the three, primarily works the ovens, but on occasion can be found selling in the shop, behind the butchery counter or out in the van doing the deliveries. He has followed in his father's footsteps, and is a keen actor himself, taking part in local productions both at home and further afield. Although new products have been added to the shop shelves, Louise, David and Daniel are proud to continue Connie's legacy, still using many of her most popular recipes.