Joseph Dobsons & Sons Ltd
The home of the famous Yorkshire Mixture, Joseph Dobson’s is a fascinating story of a family owned business which has prospered to become one of the largest family owned confectionery business in Yorkshire. The company continues to manufacture high quality boiled sweets and lollipops to traditional recipes meeting all the challenges of a 21st century market place but also still maintaining the ‘old fashioned’ tastes and traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Joseph Dobson & Sons Ltd was founded in 1850 by Joseph Dobson. The company has been owned and managed by direct descendants of Joseph right up until the present day and each generation has passed down their expertise and experience to each of the five generations involved in the business.
The famous Yorkshire Mixtures were named entirely by accident as it is said that one day whilst Thomas John (Joseph’s son) was carrying a tray of sweets downstairs, he slipped and fell and when he looked down to see the jumbled mass of sweets he was inspired to create the now famous Yorkshire Mixture Variety.
In 1999, Dobson’s bought a lollipop company and moved production of the 20 varieties of lollipops and Old Tom cough sweets to their factory in Elland. The lollipop range has now expanded to include a total of 51 different varieties and these along with over 50 varieties of sweets can be found in a wide range of wholesale and retail outlets including traditional sweet shops, supermarkets and department stores.
Dobson’s continue to manufacture and package their products in the original Victorian factory in Elland. The buildings are set around a cobbled courtyard and grooves can still be seen in the flagstones in the passage way leading to the courtyard which were used to help horses get a better grip when pulling the delivery carts. Continuing to manufacture in these buildings although sometimes present logistical challenges, it also creates a special ambience which helps to maintain the tradition and heritage.
There are over 50 members of staff which make up the Dobson’s team and many of which have worked for the company for many years. Dobson’s also have their own retail shop in the centre of Elland which provides customers with a vast choice of English and Continental confectionery products in a traditional environment.