NECCO, Oldest US Candy Company, Suddenly Shuts Its Factory

Finding Sweethearts for Valentine's Day will be a little harder after candymaker NECCO abruptly shut down its factory on Tuesday.

Sweethearts, NECCO Wafers, and Clark Bars are about to be a lot harder to come by, as the NECCO plant in Revere, Massachusetts, was shut suddenly Tuesday by its owner, Round Hill Investments LLC, 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 company announced in a statement. "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."

News of the abrupt closure, which left 230 employees without jobs, has rocked social media.

"I will now be stockpiling Necco wafers. No joke my fave candy I will buy every store's entire supply. I'll be like one of those weird doomsday people except instead of cans I will just have shelves of Necco wafers," one person commented on the news.

"Now where will I get my candy hearts from?" another person asked.

One person is now seeing dollar signs when they look at their last Sky Bar.

NECCO, which stands for New England Confectionery Company, had been the oldest candy company in the United States. It had been in operation since 1847, bringing favorite treats such as Sky Bars, Mary Janes, Clark Bars, Candy Buttons, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Mighty Malts. In May, Round Hill, which is owned by C. Dean Metropolous, bought the company at bankruptcy for $17.3 million, and recently sold the business to new, unnamed owner.

The factory was shut down for seven days in May after the Food and Drug and Administration found evidence of rodent activity and unsanitary conditions

While the new owner has not indicated if production will resume at the factory, at least six other private food service companies are have expressed interest in interviewing the former NECCO factory employees.

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"We are disappointed that Round Hill could not follow through on the enthusiasm it expressed when it acquired NECCO barely two months ago," Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo said in a statement, according to CNN Money. "We are gratified, certainly, that the private sector is in a position to help these workers. But that doesn't lessen our exasperation with the way Round Hill went about the process."

For those still hoping the get their hands on the iconic candy, there are still several places where the treats are being sold. Amazon, eBay, CandyWarehouse.com, Rocket Fizz, and Cracker Barrel all currently have NECCO candies in stock, though the supply is limited.