A CONFECTIONERY firm with a sweet shop in Holmfirth plans to create 200 jobs by opening a factory in Yorkshire.
Ella Riley Ltd unveiled its plans after securing the intellectual property rights (IP) to Riley’s Toffee Rolls from US confectionery giant Kraft.
Now the company plans to bring the mouth-watering confection back to Yorkshire by opening an environmentally-friendly factory which could create about 200 jobs.
The company is currently in talks about the location of the new site.
The project is being spearheaded by Freya Sykes, the granddaughter of Ella Riley, who created the toffee roll recipe in Halifax for the family business.
Riley Brothers (Halifax) Ltd, founded in 1907, was famous for its Toffee Rolls, which came in several flavours.
Its mill premises in Hopwood Lane, Halifax, featured a 120ft high chimney with the company’s name picked out in glazed white bricks.
In 1953, the company was bought by the Guinness Group and then by Callard & Bowser, before being acquired in turn by United Biscuits, McVities and finally Kraft.
Freya, who set up Ella Riley Ltd a year ago, acquired the rights to Riley’s Toffee Rolls for a “modest” amount, after Kraft made it clear it had no further interest in the product.
Said Freya: “We’re delighted to have secured the ownership of the intellectual property rights for the Riley’s Toffee Rolls.
“Ella Riley, after whom I have named the company, handed down the original recipe – so we are over the moon to be able to bring a little taste of history back to the UK.
“With the added bonus of being able to bring more jobs to Yorkshire, this can be seen as nothing less than fantastic news for the region.”
She added: “The company directors felt it was an important part of the company’s growth plans to be able to secure the IP for the toffee rolls so they could be produced in the UK once again.”
Freya said the company was in talks with several local authorities, including Kirklees and Wakefield, about potential sites for the proposed factory.
She said it was hoped to develop the factory in the next three to five years and to use solar power, water power and recycled heat from the machines to reduce its carbon footprint.
Riley’s Toffee Rolls were a long-time favourite – and they are also getting international exposure.
Two historic Riley’s toffee tins featured in the latest Harry Potter blockbuster: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Ella’s Toffee Rolls will now join a tempting line-up of old-fashioned sweets on the Holmfirth shop shelves – including Walker’s Nonsuch, Invalid Butter Toffee, Chewing Nuts and a locally produced banana toffee – as well as homemade ice cream and Ben Shaws pop.