ISM 2019 Preview - Walker's Nonsuch Toffee
Walker’s Nonsuch is one of England’s oldest makers of traditional toffee, and one of the original exhibitors at ISM. With an increased global demand, the company is now celebrating its 125-year anniversary.
Family toffee makers, Walker’s Nonsuch has a dual celebration at ISM 2019. Not only is the company celebrating 125 years of toffee making, but it will also be its 48th time exhibiting at the show.
Having visited in 1970, Ian Walker, current Managing Director at the time, saw the potential for company and in 1971 set his stall. Forty- eight years on, the family company is thriving and export has become a key part of the business.
From humble beginnings in 1894, Walker’s Nonsuch is one of England’s finest and oldest makers of traditional toffee. At the heart of the family company lies quality and passion for just good ingredients like whole milk and butter.
Now with fifth generation family members, the company remain committed in following Founder, Edward Joseph’s footsteps, whilst retaining good business values and a true love for its products.
Former potter, Edward Joseph opened a sweet shop with his sister Florence in 1894 and began making toffee. It was such a success, Edward decided to open a small factory. Little did he know his toffee would be enjoyed in over 50 countries worldwide today.
In 1915, Edward enrolled his son, Edward Victor, and together father and son made toffee using the original recipe. Walker’s Nonsuch had been established and later became a limited liability company in 1922.
Business had flourished, however due to the Second World War, Edward Victor had to restrict production as it became difficult sourcing ingredients; the era of sweet rationing began. Eventually, these restrictions were lifted, and Edward Victor grew the business once again, eventually moving to a larger factory. Walker’s Nonsuch was now a UK brand.
The new factory had previously belonged to Horleston Brothers Ltd, who made boiled sweets. Walker’s Nonsuch bought this company and the factory remains the home of Walker’s Nonsuch today on Calverley Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
In 1962, toffee maker Edward Victor passed away, leaving brothers Edward and Ian responsible for the company. As Joint Managing Directors, and with the help of Company Secretary Cyril Jackson, they invested in modern machinery which enabled greater capacity with the ambition to continue to make quality toffee. Sadly, Edward passed away in 1981 leaving brother Ian at the helm.
Ian Walker served 62 years in the family company until his passing in 2017. Ian had a wealth of experience and was greatly respected in the industry for having good business values, something which the family endeavour to follow today. Ian developed the range and travelled the world selling his much-loved toffee. A man of sincerity and principle, Ian Walker was a true embodiment of actions speak louder than words.
Ian’s daughters, Katie and Emma and nephew Edward remain passionate about England’s finest toffee today. Supplying supermarkets, cash and carries, and specialist food distributors, Katie looks after UK sales. Meanwhile, Emma manages export sales, attends exhibitions in Europe and Middle East, alongside market visits. Edward’s role is to deliver England’s finest toffee as Production Director. Fifth generation toffee makers include Jessica, Jonathan and Jamie.
Today, the Managing Director is Mr Adrian Hill. Having worked alongside Ian for over 32 years, Adrian has an abundance of knowledge and experience and is eager to continue grow the family company.
Whilst using just good ingredients, the Walker family now make 14 varieties of toffees and chocolate eclairs, with Salted Caramel and Double Dipped Chocolate as the latest additions.
BRC accredited and vegetarian friendly, Walker’s Nonsuch Toffee is free from artificial colours, preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils and gluten too. Ranges include traditional toffee 50g and 100g bars, twist wrapped toffees in 150g, 400g, 1kg and 2.5kg bags, along with gifting items and a unique hammer pack range.
With quality still at the forefront 125 years on, Walker’s Nonsuch continue to use its original recipe today to make England’s finest toffee. From national radio campaigns to local charity events, Walker’s Nonsuch will commemorate this momentous occasion with a series of monthly events throughout 2019, starting with the ISM 125-year anniversary party in Cologne.
For more information, visit Walker’s Nonsuch on Stand K020, Hall 4.2.