Thomastown chocolate and honeycomb producer The Confectionery House is creating jobs and expanding its production of sweets thanks to the Victorian Government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) grant.
The chocolate manufacturer is using the grant to expand its product range and boost exports from $160,000 to a projected $1 million by 2020. The grant will also see six new jobs created that are suitable for ex-auto workers.
LIFT helps businesses generate new investment and create jobs for retrenched workers in areas affected by the closure of car manufacturing, including Melbourne’s north.
Victoria’s manufacturing industry contributes $27.7 billion to the economy, is made up of more than 13,000 businesses and employs more than 286,000 people – an increase of more than 20,000 over the last two years.
Manufacturing is Victoria’s fourth largest employer and is responsible for $17.9 billion worth of goods exports.
To find out more about how the Victorian Government is supporting automotive supply chain workers and businesses in Victoria, visit the Victoria’s Automotive Transition Plan.
Video: Sweet Success for Thomastown Confectionary House
Video transcript: Sweet Success for Thomastown Confectionary House
[Vision: Chocolates on a conveyer belt]
[The Confectionary House has been awarded a grant under the Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) program to buy new equipment – The project will create six new manufacturing jobs]
Jim Didolis – Confectionary Company
Having found out about the funding it made it a very good choice providing me with the background work which my son Ezra is responsible for. So we saw it as an opportunity to get into the chocolate enrobing field.
Ezra Freeman – The Confectionary House
Obviously dad’s been here since ’85 with his partner Serge.
And it’s such a unique business. I’ve been coming in and out as a kid and I’ve always seen the potential this business could have.
[Vision: Chocolatier working with chocolate]
We’ve introduce the new premium chocolate enrober.
[Vision: Sweets after being covered by chocolate]
Basically it covers products in chocolate, from Cherry Ripes to caramels, honeycomb.
[Vision: Conveyer belt with chocolates]
It’s enable us to broaden our range and from that equipment so far we’ve broadened into 15 new lines.
[Vision: Orange ball products]
We have an orange ball product, just like a Jaffa.
[Vision: Various types of sweets – mixing equipment]
The innovative forms of honeycomb, and we also have sugared almonds. We’ve done candy liquorice straws.
[Vision: Liquid chocolate]
We also do chocolate coating.
[Vision: Conveyer belt with chocolate coated products on it]
It’s given us now another completely different set of products.
[Vision: Tumbler drying chocolate – Jim speaking]
It just opens a lot of, a lot of innovative thought in our minds as to what we can put in the marketplace.
[Vision: Staff working]
Over the next 18 months we’re looking to put on six new full-timers.
[Vision: Sugar coated sweets]
So far we’ve put on two.
[Vision: Staff working with sweets]
If our volume increase we potentially could put on eight or ten.
[Vision: Staff mixing confectionary]
You see from a young age how hard my Dad works and I want to capture what he’s done here and expand it.
[Vision: Staff turning out sweet mixture]
Imagination just puts you to an infinite field.
[Vision: Sweet dough being worked with]
So we’ve developed a couple of other lines. And this is what we’re more about. Trying to develop something the market doesn’t have.
[Vision: Chocolate coated treats on conveyer belt – finished product]
We were funded, allowing us to put a deposit on the line you saw inside.
[Vision: Jim speaking]
That’s the great thing that Government’s helped us with.
[VICTORIA State Government]
[Speaker: Authorised by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]