Boston, MA - When the New England Confectionary Company abruptly closed in July, it meant the loss of living wages for the 230 workers who struggled to keep the iconic brand alive despite failed buyouts and poor management. It also mean the loss of a 173 year-old historic landmark as fundamental to Boston as the Schraft building and not using turn signals. And for many people, it meant the loss of their childhood.
Now, one Sudbury woman wants to bring a piece of it back.
Louise Mawhinney, owner of gourmet food store Duck Soup, states that she won the rights to Sky Bar—one of NECCO’s most celebrated brands—during an online auction on January 24th and has hopes of reviving the candy bar.
"Like so many others, I was watching the evolving events at NECCO with dismay," Mawhinney said. "I couldn't believe that Sky Bar would never be produced again. I placed a bid and I must admit I was stunned to suddenly become the owner of the brand."
There has never been anything particularly gourmet about the Sky Bar, of course. Nor would you want there to be. First introduced in 1938, the terminally sweet multi-sectioned candy bar was likely something you hadn’t particularly thought of since you were 7 years old (unless you were drunk in line at a 7-11.) But its history in advertising has frequently been cited; most notably, on V-Day in 1945, when it was one of only six neon signs lit in Times Square after a three day blackout and curfew.
Assisting with Mawhinney in reproducing Sky Bar—the first molded chocolate bar produced in the U.S.—is Jeff Green, the former Vice President of Research & Development at NECCO.
"I was very glad to connect with Louise as I thought that Sky Bar would be gone forever," Green said. "There's so much history associated with the bar, and it definitely has an existing fan base."
Both Green and Mawhinney said they plan on starting a small batch production of the Sky Bar later this year. No word yet as to mass production or distribution.
And sadly… no word yet whether or not the rights to the Clark Bar have been claimed.