Necco Is In Trouble and May Lay Off Hundreds of Employees

The Revere-based wafer-maker needs to find a buyer ASAP.


Photo by Olga Khvan

Neccois in big trouble, it announced this month, and may need to lay off hundreds.

New England Confectionery Co. CEO Michael McGee said in a notice to local officials that the company is in need of a buyer as soon as possible, and if not, it may have to let as many as 395 people go. The layoffs could happen by May 6, he said.

The candy-maker, now located in Revere, has been churning out colorful wafers and other treats since 1847. In addition to the controversially delicious Necco Wafer (this writer, for one, is an unapologetic fan), Necco is also responsible for Mary Jane, Sky Bar, Valentine’s Day staple Sweethearts, and other “fine candy.”

Once headquartered in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, it moved to Revere from Cambridge in 2003 to a spot near the soon-to-be-developed Suffolk Downs racetrack and the Revere Beach stop on the Blue Line. The 810,000 square foot Revere factory sold last year for $54.6 million to two companies–one in Framingham and the other in North Andover.

The company is Revere’s single largest employer.

The property owned by Necco underwent re-zoning last year, which Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo said in his recent State of the City address would allow it to become “home to 21st-century industries such as robotics, biotech and advanced manufacturing.” The space, along with Suffolk Downs and Wonderland, he said, “hold the key to our City’s future, and the decisions we will weigh and determine will ripple for generations to come.” In a statement to the Boston Business Journal, Arrigo also lamented the changing times and said “it is disheartening to learn that hundreds of workers—some of which are Revere residents—are going to potentially lose their jobs.”


We got a peek behind the scenes of the legendary factory in 2015.