Massachusetts-based Necco, the country’s oldest continuously operating candy company, closed abruptly yesterday, ending operations that first started in 1847. Necco – which stands for New England Confectionery Company – was bought by Round Hill Investments for more than $17 million at an auction in May, the Boston Globe reported.
“Round Hill Investments was very excited to acquire Necco’s historic brands and to be part of their national resurgence,” the company said in a statement to The Boston Globe. “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.”
The plant’s 230 workers were told yesterday they could pick up their final paychecks Friday.
The name of the company’s new owners or the fate of its classic candies – including Sweethearts, Necco Wafers and Clark Bars – is unknown.
Sweethearts, small candy hearts with short sayings, are the country’s best-selling Valentine’s candy, according to Necco. The company first began making the candies in 1902, now producing some 2 billion individual hearts each year.
News of the closure has prompted sky-high prices online for those hoping to grab some of the company’s signature candies. A case of Necco wafers was listed for almost $50 on the auction site e-Bay, roughly double the regular price. The same case of 24 candy rolls was listed on Amazon for $79 through a third-party seller.