Sweet success for Joseph Dobson & Sons with NatWest

One of Yorkshire’s oldest and largest independent family-run confectionery manufacturers has expanded and created eight job roles with support from NatWest and Lombard – the bank’s dedicated asset finance division.

Elland-based Joseph Dobson & Sons was established by its namesake in 1850.

In 1999, Miriam Walshaw, great-great granddaughter of Joseph Dobson, and her husband Stephen took over the helm.

The business, believed to have created the famous Yorkshire Mixtures, hand makes a wide range of sweets and lollipops from recipes that have been handed down through generations, including Voice Tablets, Mint Imperials and Traffic Light Lollies.

Over recent months the company found itself needing extra space for manufacturing and packing their popular Mint Imperials and for additional storage.

When a nearby warehouse was available to purchase, Miriam and Stephen realised it would create the perfect opportunity to expand the business.

Turning to NatWest, which has supported the business for over 150 years, Miriam and Stephen worked with Michael Hall, Relationship Director in the NatWest Huddersfield office, to secure a commercial mortgage under the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

In addition Miriam and Stephen worked with Louise Illingworth, Relationship Manager at Lombard, to obtain an asset finance facility.

Joseph Dobson & Sons was able to invest in the 8,700 sq ft premises on Exley Lane, around the corner from their existing premises in Northgate.

The new site incorporates a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Mint Imperial manufacturing and packing facility which will speed the processes up and in turn, boost productivity.

Operations such as manufacturing and packing of sweets and lollies will continue to operate in the Northgate site.

Miriam said:

“The packaging was causing a bottle neck in the process and these machines will help us combat that. Without the new site we wouldn’t have had the space to house them – this will help us a great deal.”

The latest development has enabled Miriam and Stephen to recruit an additional eight employees to join their 52 strong permanent staff.

She added:

“We’ve been with NatWest since the business started in 1850.

“Michael has offered us lots of useful advice and has been very helpful throughout this latest expansion project.”

Longer-term Miriam and Stephen plan to continue the organic growth of the business at a steady pace to maintain the quality of their products.

Michael said:

“Joseph Dobson & Sons is a fantastic family business with a huge amount of history.

“It plays a big part in the local community in Elland and I’m proud to have been able to support them through this latest phase of growth.”

Joseph Dobson & Sons continues to use the traditional sweet making methods which have been used since 1940s and include boiling the ingredients in large, open copper pans.

It’s said that the famous Yorkshire Mixtures came into being when Joseph Dobson’s son dropped some sweets when he was coming down the stairs.

In addition to confectionery, Joseph Dobson & Sons manufactures and supplies cough lozenges to the pharmaceutical industry.

The well-loved brand supplies its products to most major supermarkets including Morrisons, Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys, a number of wholesalers and independent retailers, as well as running its own shop in Southgate, Elland. 

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Miriam and Stephen Walshaw ith NatWest relationship manager Michael Hall (centre)

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