New England’s oldest continually operating candy-company closed its doors for good last Tuesday, letting its employees back on Friday to retrieve personal items and pick up their last paychecks.
At one-time NECCO had 400 employees, but was down to 200 at closure. Employees had expected closure but not until November.
Chief Executive Michael McGee told the employees of the plans Tuesday afternoon.
The abrupt shutdown came on the heels of a new owner coming forward in bankruptcy proceedings.
Mike DiCocco, the representative of the Machinists Union District 15, said he had about 24 members at NECCO each day.
“These men have a certain trade for the specialized NECCO equipment,” he said.
Some of the machines used for the classic NECCO wafers and the candy hearts date back to the 1940s and ‘50s.
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.
Round Hill Investments LLC, headed up by C. Dean Metropoulas, who purchased NECCO at a bankruptcy auction in May for $17.3 million. Then the company sold the NECCO brand to another unnamed confection manufacturer and closed the doors. The only cars in the parking lot last week were for the park and ride business that runs out of there.
Originally located in Cambridge, NECCO moved to 135 American Legion Highway in Revere more than 15 years ago.
“We are disappointed that Round Hill could not follow through on the enthusiasm it expressed when it acquired NECCO,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “The city of Revere will make every effort to assist displaced workers with referrals to agencies that can help them.”
The plant that is located on prime industrial land was purchased by Atlantic Management and VMD Companies purchased in 2017 for $55 million.