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The Clarnico Sweet Factory

Sweets on an industrial scale

Make sure your volume is on: "Smuggling chocolate out of Clarnico's"

Show transcript

Clarnico’s - oh, that’s a story! My grandmother used to work at Clarnico’s. And she had eight children. And on a Friday night … she used to decorate the chocolates, right … and on a Friday night she used to put on a clean apron to go into work.

And all night long she’d be splashing the chocolate on this apron. And when she got home it was put on the table and bang, bang, bang – the kids had the chocolate! I always remember that!

This was once one of Britain’s leading confectionary manufacturers.

Set up by three men, Clarke, Nickolls & Coombs, the company later combined their names to create ‘Clarnico’.

By 1899 the company employed 2,000 men and women, mainly from the local area, and made 700 different varieties of sweets. The location on the Lee Navigation allowed easy bulk deliveries of sugar carried by barge from London’s docks.

Clarnico pioneered a profit-sharing scheme in the 1890s. The company paid a six percent dividend to shareholders, and then divided any remaining profits between shareholders and employees.

The company was bought by Trebor in 1969, and is now part of the Cadbury group.