Necco, an American confectionery institution and maker of the seminal valentine’s candy Sweethearts, is in deep trouble.
The century-old sweets manufacturer says it can’t afford to keep its factory open, and while negotiations are “ongoing” that would “allow for its continued operations,” a new report in the Boston Globe doesn’t make them sound terribly reassuring.
If they go south, the paper reports that Necco could lay off “most of its workforce” — as many as 395 workers, from the cooks and hard-candy-makers to truck drivers and machine operators.
Necco’s claim to confectionery fame is, of course, its iconic conversation hearts (up to 14 million pounds are reportedly produced for the six weeks they go on sale each year).
Necco also calls itself America’s oldest candy company. The name is technically an acronym for the New England Confectionery Company, and its origins trace back to 1847 — to two brothers, Oliver and Daniel Chase, who patented the first machine capable of cutting candy lozenges into different shapes, then figured out how to stamp messages onto them using red dye.
Necco’s CEO Michael McGee now tells Revere’s mayor that time’s up at their plant on May 6, unless someone who dearly loves candy wafers throws a bunch of money at it. He’s put out an SOS message to would-be buyers: “CALL ME.”
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Image via NECOO!