On Monday 19th of February, I had the exciting opportunity of visiting the Jakemans factory in Boston, Lincolnshire. When you have these little delights, you don’t realise all of the hard work and dedication that staff put into the product that you’re buying and I had a wonderful experience and learnt a lot!
The history of Jakemans
First of all, the past. Jakemans started off as a tiny shop in the East of England and has now turned into a well-known brand internationally. It all started in 1907 when the first ever shop was set up in the street called Red Lion Street in Boston. The famous sweets were made using hand presses and wrapped by hand. Pretty impressive, right? Skip a decade or so, and we were now in 1920. The original owners retired, and for short periods, there were two other owners that took on Jakemans. In 1928 though, the Rapsons took over and moved the business to Wormgate. In 1967, Stan Greensmith joined as confectionary buyer who then took over in 1990 and was joined by his son and son-in-law. During the millennial year, the business moved to Sutterton Enterprise Park, and by 2006, the company had 21 employees which hand produced sweets (16 tonnes worth, HOW?!).
Four years later, LanesHealth invested in the business to automate the manufacturing process. Thanks to the local community, advertising got around as Jakemans sponsored Boston United FC. By 2011, the English company had made contact with the US and secured 40 listings in the states. In 2014, the company decided to up their game and invested in super-duper magical technology which had a new stick pack machine. This piece of art can run 1,500 sweets per minute. This story is never ending, right?! Because by 2015, Jakemans purchased many acres of land allowing the Lincolnshire based factory to expand more and by 2016 it grew its international portfolio and is now known in the Middle East, Asia and South America. YAY!
So, thanks to all of this magic, you can now enjoy your favourite flavours in a convenient ten sweet stick pack which offers a handbag friendly way to enjoy menthol while on the move! Not only is this a family based company which is heartwarming to hear but it also secured many jobs for local people, and with Lincolnshire being a rural county, it helped massively. The company has doubled their number of employees since 2010 and skill level, and productivity has increased due to machine training and equipment operating. If you think the goodness stops there, then you’re wrong. Jakemans pass on rewards to their employees due to their success. Quick fact time: did you know that Jakemans is the second largest menthol confectionery brand in the UK?
As you read from the company’s history, Jakemans is all for expansion because the bigger, the better. 6.722 acres of land was purchased to expand the factory, so that is a lot more sweets for your tum! Due to all of the expansion, the company has grown by nearly £10 million with consistent yearly growth. The high commitment to Boston and growing is definitely something close to their hearts.
It’s crazy to think our well-known menthol sweet is available worldwide! Jakemans has been with the US for six years now and has a base in New Jersey and shares a distribution centre in New Jersey. Impressive! The US Jakemans has a brand value of $2.5-3m (we always knew the UK could do better). It doesn’t stop there though because growth is in the works. I’ll let you in with a little secret here, new markets with potential for Jakemans include Indonesia and Brazil. Yes for success.
So, that was all I learnt on my journey to Boston. I went away full of knowledge and very full from the amount of menthol. I think I ate my body weight if I’m quite honest! There’s something about watching those machines that are very satisfying; I don’t know if it’s the magical presses or the fact that they wrap so many sweets at once. Therapeutic indeed.