Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Thursday 4th June, 2015
A company that has been making Kendal mint cake in Cumbria for over a century has been rescued from administration and is now looking to a brighter future.
JE Wilson & Sons had been a confectionery maker operating in northern England since 1913 but entered administration earlier this year after facing serious financial difficulties.
However, having entered administration, the business was quickly bought by a newly created company called Creative Confectionery, which resulted in over 100 employees of JE Wilson keeping their jobs.
A key figure behind the rescue of the business was Andrew Wilson, who was managing director of JE Wilson & Sons and is the grandson of the company’s original founder.
Mr Wilson set up Creative Confectionery as a new operation with the help of Bibby Financial Services and he is now its managing director.
“I'm delighted to have secured the jobs of so many hardworking and committed people, and to have preserved the future of a third-generation family firm,” said Mr Wilson in a statement.
“Our new partners have exceptional experience in the food industry, and have made a huge success of all that they do. We can learn a lot from them as our business develops.”
Wilson’s was one of the original makers of Kendal mint cake, which become and remains a renowned Cumbrian confectionery. The company grew during the 20th century to become a successful maker of a wide range of chocolate products but ran into serious financial problems in recent years.
“Wilson's is a fantastic family-run business with a long history. We saw that this business needed help to get it through a difficult transitional period and recognised the raft of customers who relied upon its supply of the very best chocolates,” explained Chris Farnworth, Bibby Financial Services’ corporate manager.
“We worked with Wilson's to deliver an adaptable funding structure to help stabilise the business and ensure that this quintessentially British business and maker of the famous Kendal mint cake lives on.”
A total of 66 full-time and 55 seasonal jobs were saved as a result of JE Wilson & Sons being acquired by its new owners.