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Melville Candy: Manufacturing Success with Your Family Recipe

Against all obstacles – Melville Candy Company continues carrying on a family tradition with original recipes started over 75 years ago by Great-Uncles George Flynn and Kenny Melville and later perfected by Gary's dad, Francis Melville.

After decades of survival through several recessions, credit crises and a slowing manufacturing industry – Melville Candy is thriving.  The company still manufactures candy by hand even today – employing over 150 candy-makers at their new factory in Randolph, Massachusetts with a little help from the SBA.  


Iron Worker to Confectioner
In 1978, Gary Melville was going through some tough times and was laid off as an iron worker; that’s when he knew it was time to go out on his own and start his own candy business.  It was family love affair – Gary’s uncles, George Flynn and Kenny Melville used to own and operate retail candy stores around the Boston area from the 1940’s to the 1970’s.  Now it was Gary’s turn to follow in his family’s footsteps and continue honoring the family candy recipe – by creating fun, custom confections that all can enjoy. 

Gary started off going door-to-door selling his signature Lobster and Old Tyme Barley Lollipops to restaurants, convenience stores, gift shops, and wherever counter space was available.  In 2000, Gary’s son Joseph joined the business as co-owner/sales manager and the company began steadily expanding operations and developing new distribution channels – but new issues came with the growth. 

Gary and Joe Melville

Although sales were increasing, net profits couldn’t reach their full potential within the confines of their original facility and Melville Candy was finding it more and more challenging keeping up with increasing orders.  In 2015, Melville Candy was able to increase sales by 52% from the previous year; Sales grew again in 2016 by 8.5%, but net profits were down due to the lack of sufficient manufacturing space to produce orders.  Naysayers critical of their candy manufacturing process also believed Melville Candy’s outdated approach to manufacturing by hand, was a major factor holding them back from realizing maximum profits. However, Gary and Joe believed in their business model and knew they just needed more factory space to scale their manufacturing capabilities and fulfill the increasing amount of orders coming in. 



Funding a New Factory

In order to build out a new factory that would meet their production needs, Gary and Joe needed to find funding.  They learned about SBA financing from their bankers at Rockland Trust who helped them put together a package using the SBA 504 loan program with support from Granite State Economic Development Corporation to purchase the land and renovate the building located at 28 York Avenue in Randolph, Massachusetts.  

SBA 504 financing was approved in 2017 and Melville Candy‘s new 45,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility allowed them to increase their workforce capacity from 90 employees to over 150 in the new physical space.  It also allowed Melville Candy to stay true to its core values and continue manufacturing custom products by hand for their clients – while increasing profitability by a factor of three!


2018 Small Business Person of the Year

Gary Melville Speech

Today, Melville Candy is well positioned to maximize revenue and profitability with a variety of growth strategies.  The company continues exporting internationally to partners such as HomeSense & Winners in Canada; and developing partnerships with major retail partners such as: Wal-Mart, CVS, TJX Corp, and Marshalls.  Additionally, the company customizes white-label products for retailers such as Target and Starbucks; and also offers the ability to mold custom shapes – for example in the outline of a spaceship – to customers such as the Kennedy Space Center.  

Melville Candy is the winner of the 2018 Small Business Person of the Year for Massachusetts.  Gary and Joe Melville were nominated by Barbara Arena, Vice President at Granite State Development Corporation.  

In celebration of National Small Business Week each year, the SBA accepts nominations for this top honor and judged on criteria including: staying power; growth in number of employees; increase in sales, net profit and net worth for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016; response to adversity; and contributions to community-oriented projects.

Gary Melville joined by his family, friends and colleagues accepted the award on behalf of Melville Candy.

Melville Group

Company Name: 
Melville Candy
Randolph, MA