A Bittersweet Goodbye:NECCO Plant to Close Doors on American Legion Hgwy

One man’s attempt at crowd-funding for a beloved candy company may have fallen short of the May 4 deadline date, but the call for help continues. Just under 100 employees will say goodbye to their jobs this week at NECCO (New England Confectionary Company) on Friday.

Up in the air are also the recipes of NECCO wafers, candy hearts, Sky Bars, Squirrel Nuts, Mary Janes, candy dots, and more. In addition, what will happen to the specialized machines, some that date back to the 1940s also remains unknown.

Attempts to reach CEO Mike McGee were unsuccessful.

The building was purchased by Atlantic Management and VMD Companies who teamed up to buy the 50-acre site for $54.6 million last year. The lease for the 830,000-square-foot building expires in August.

“Hostess went through this and came out on top,” said former NECCO employee Alisa Hills. “We would hate for NECCO to go away.”

Former CEO Ed Gulachenski (2011-2015) launched a Go Fund me page to save NECCO a couple of weeks ago. Since then he’s raised over $4,320 for 101 different people. Donations range from $5 to $500.

Hills said when Gulachenski announced the crowdfunding idea his phone rang more than expected.

Gulchenski has said he needs $30 million to buy the company. He plans to put in $5-$10 million of his own fund and raise the additional money through crowd-sourcing.

NECCO’s CEO Mark McGee notified Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo that without a buyer by May 6, the 171-year old confectionary company would have to layoff employees. NECCO, the New England Confectionary Co., moved into a building at 135 American Legion Highway back in 2003 after being in Cambridge for years.

The makers of NECCO wafers, candy conversation hearts, Clark Bars, and a dozen other candy products, reported steady revenues in 2005 of $100 million. In 2010 NECCO was listed for sale with a New York broker, but then the listing was pulled in 2011.

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