Necco might not be the first name you think of when you think of Candy. They have been around long enough that they should be. They are the group behind Sky Bars and those Sweethearts candy hearts that are given out for Valentine’s day. For many people known them more for the sweets, they produce than the actual company itself. Necco has been around in some form since the late 1800s so I would guess a few generations know of them or what they have made or acquired in all that time.
That all came to an end recently with the announcement that its big manufacturing plant in Revere Massachusetts, one of the longest lasting candy mills still working in New England, was closing. The closure wasn’t something people saw coming either. This was a sudden thing. Now those who were let go are not going quietly either.
Necco, or the New England Confectionary Company as it was once known, has had hard times. It was acquired in a bankruptcy auction back in May with all the promises that thing would get back on the straight and narrow again. This wasn’t the first time Necco has faced some hardships. While they were once one of the biggest candy makers in the US, that was in the first half of the 20th century. Behind the candies, Necco has had on and off problems since the 1960s.
Necco was actually acquired earlier this year by Round Hill Investments LLC, who was actually the second highest bidder for it when the first place bidder couldn’t follow through. They kept it going for a couple of months before the plant was shut down and the business was then sold off to some other company.
The people who are feeling the brunt of this are now entering legal proceedings. What started with a couple of unhappy former employees has turned into a class action lawsuit and the people in that factory were not given any notice they would be fired or that things were shutting down. There are laws to prevent that kind of thing and these folks are looking for 2 months back pay.
The parent company Round Hill Investments, have already been facing some legal issues before this as they were being sued for trying to bail on the last bit of money they promised to pay for Necco. Turnes out Necco had an FDA claim against them for some serious health code violations. As a result of that, they were being sued for Breach of contract and unlawful business practices.
Once you get past the lawsuits and legal issues, there is still a factory full of people that are now looking for jobs. As these kinds of shady business practices go, lawsuits and legal issues could be tied up in court for months or years. By then those people will hopefully find jobs for better people than that. Candy Hearts probably looks good on a resume.
As for the names that help make Necco famous like the Sky Bars, the Necco wafers, and the Mary Janes, amongst others, nothing has been said yet what will happen to any of them. They all could disappear or be sold off to make some quick cash if this ends up dragging on.
The sad thing is that Necco was a name for many decades, but seemed to appeal more towards an older generation. My Grandfather loved Necco Wafers, my parents liked Sky Bars, but there wasn’t so much appeal in my generation or the ones that came after me. Sweethearts were known more as “those little candy hearts” than anything else. It is almost like people knew about the products but didn’t know about the company making them.
That could be part of the problem. That and the FDA violations. Those can’t be good for business either.