Zane Razzaq Daily News staff @zanerazz
Jan 24, 2019 at 9:21 AM
Jan 24, 2019 at 9:04 PM
Louise Mawhinney, owner of Duck Soup in Sudbury, said she sold the Sky Bar at her store and had seen firsthand how popular it was.
SUDBURY — The iconic Sky Bar candy – with its bright yellow wrapper – escaped extinction this week when the owner of a local grocery store purchased the brand.
Louise Mawhinney, owner of Duck Soup, a gourmet grocery store on Rte. 20, announced the purchase of the Sky Bar, a brand made by the now-defunct New England Confectionery Company (NECCO). One of the oldest candy companies in the country, NECCO, based in Revere, went through a bankruptcy auction last year where its assets were sold. Most of its candy brands were sold to established confectioners, but the fate of the Sky Bar was unknown.
“It looked like it would end up by the wayside,” said Mawhinney, who placed a winning bid at auction for the bar. “Never fear. It will come back.”
She had sold the Sky Bars at Duck Soup and seen firsthand how popular they are. When the candy bar began to disappear from store shelves, fans took to the internet in a buying frenzy to purchase the remaining stock.
Established in 1971, Duck Soup is known for its proprietary coffee blends and curated wine and cheese selections. The retail store also carries kitchenware, craft liquors, international foods and a wide selection of chocolate and candy. Mawhinney said the move marks a departure from business as usual for the shop.
“This is going to be a completely different thing for us to do. Manufacturing a chocolate bar is something we haven’t done before,” she said.
The next step will be finding a facility, hopefully in MetroWest. The store is also working closely with Jeff Green, formerly NECCO’s vice president of research and development and a 33-year NECCO veteran. Green is helping the store form a process to make smaller batches of the candy than NECCO used to make.
“I was very glad to connect with Louise, as I thought that Sky Bar would be gone forever,” said Green in a statement. “There’s so much history associated with the bar, and it definitely has an existing fan base.”
Introduced by NECCO in 1938 with a dramatic skywriting advertising campaign, Sky Bar’s technological innovation was its four distinctly different centers – caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge. Well known throughout New England, Sky Bar – wrapped in a bright yellow package – was produced by NECCO until last May.
“It’s very exciting,” said Mawhinney. “We are honored and excited to be a part of this legacy.”
Zane Razzaq can be reached at 508-626-3919 or [email protected] and on Twitter at @zanerazz.