Luxury hand-packed confectionery business Bon Bon’s (Wholesale) Ltd, which sits within the Lanchester Group of Companies, has acquired hf Chocolates, which is a leading importer, distributor and wholesaler of fine chocolates and novelties.
Established in 1957, hf Chocolates was purchased by Stephen Pain and Thelma Benke in 1999 and has developed into a leading supplier of luxury confectionery. Customers range from independent sweet shops, to retail multiples and UK department stores.
After twenty years of business, Stephen and Thelma have sold hf Chocolates in order to retire. The business has been purchased in its entirety by Yorkshire based Bon Bon’s, which provides luxury confectionery for high end independent retailers and visitor attractions.
hf Chocolates has built a strong reputation as a supplier of fine chocolate and confectionery to the speciality food market. Bon Bon’s’ intention is to preserve hf Chocolates’ unique identity and to strengthen the range, relationships and service that have been established across its customer base. The business will continue to be independently marketed under the hf Chocolates’ brand creating a clearly differentiated proposition to that of Bon Bon’s.
Steve Campbell is Managing Director of Bon Bon’s: “The addition of hf Chocolates to our business underlines our ongoing commitment to the luxury confectionery market. Both businesses are focused on the independent speciality food sector and our purchase of hf Chocolates will mean all customers in this sector will continue to benefit from two very distinct business and product offerings, while enjoying the high levels of customer service and innovation that the market has come to expect from Bon Bon’s.”
hf Chocolate’s Directors Stephen Pain and Thelma Benke will be working closely with the team at Bon Bon’s to ensure a seamless transition for its customers. Stephen said: We’ve worked hard to build hf Chocolates into the successful business it is today, so our decision to hand over was not taken lightly.
“We have known Bon Bon’s for some time and believe its reputation for quality mirrors our own. It was vital that our business’ new owners shared our passion and commitment to both quality and customer service, and we believe we’ve found the right custodians for our business as it moves into its next chapter.”
The deal was facilitated by Leeds based Corporate Finance and Investment boutique, Ignite Capital. Paul Thompson, Managing Director at Ignite Capital commented: “I am delighted we have found the right home for hf Chocolates and have worked tirelessly to find a buyer like Bon Bon’s ever since Stephen and Thelma indicated they wish to retire and pass the business onto new owners.
“We had lots of interest since taking the business to market, but Bon Bon’s were decisive and made their intentions clear from the start. The vendors and I believe we have found the best home for the business and we will look forward to seeing the business thrive in the future.”
Bon Bon’s was founded in 2007 by Mark Rowntree and Peter Julian, concentrating is efforts solely on the supply of luxury confectionery, sourced from all over the UK and Europe. The business was purchased in 2017 by the family-owned Lanchester Wine Cellars Ltd, trading as Lanchester Wines, which is the UK’s most sustainable wine bottling business having invested over £8million in generating its own renewable energy and heat.
hf Chocolates and Bon Bon’s sit within Lanchester Wines’ Lanchester Gifts department which supplies a variety of gift box formats to retail businesses including major high street chains and online stores. Lanchester Gifts also includes luxury pet product brand, Best in Show and high end hamper business, Spicers of Hythe, which was acquired by Lanchester Wines in 2015.