Massachusetts NECCO factory was shut down this week by owner Round Hill Investments LLC.
The company, known for it’s colorful, chalky candy, specifically it’s Valentine’s Sweethearts, has been in trouble for a while.
Round Hill Investments, which is owned by billionaire C. Dean Metropolous, purchased the candy company out of bankruptcy for $17.3 million.
Round Hill, known for saving struggling companies like Hostess, re-named NECCO Sweethearts Candy, after its most beloved product.
The company confirmed the closure in a statement on Tuesday, according to the Boston Globe.
“Round Hill Investments was very excited to acquire NECCO’s historic brands and to be part of their national resurgence,” the statement said. “After careful engagement and consideration, however, the firm decided to sell the brands to another national confection manufacturer and today announced the closure of the operations in Revere, Massachusetts.”
Round Hill has sold NECCO to an unidentified company and it unclear whether the company will continue candy production of NECCO’s Sweethearts, NECCO Wafers, Clark Bars and Mighty Malts.
The announcement came as a surprise to employees as the plant lease was scheduled to end in August and was later extended to November.
Mayor dissapointed with NECCO plant being shut down
The factory employed 230 workers who were told not to return to the factory, but to pick up their final paychecks on Friday, according to the Boston Globe.
NECCO is the oldest candy maker in the world, operating under various names since 1847 and is beloved by many for its historical and classic brands. Many, including Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, were upset about the closing of the company plant.
“We are disappointed that Round Hill could not follow through on the enthusiasm it expressed when it acquired Necco barely two months ago,” Mayor Arrigo said in a statement. “We received no advance word about the situation from any representative of any of the involved parties and only learned about it after receiving media inquiry.”
In the statement, Mayor Arrigo mentioned trying to find jobs for the workers and expressed his encouragement at six private companies in food service who were already interested in hiring the former candy factory workers.
“We are gratified, certainly, that the private sector is in a position to help these workers,” said the Mayor. “But that doesn’t lessen our exasperation with the way Round Hill went about the process.”