Liquorice Allsorts - a sweet delight from Sheffield

Food & Drink

Liquorice Allsorts - a sweet delight from Sheffield

Though best known for its former steel industry, Sheffield is also the heartland of Liquorice Allsorts, invented by acident here in 1899 and still produced in the city in Bassetts' factory.

George Bassett & Co., known simply as Bassett's was founded in 1842 in Sheffield as a small confectioner.

Bassett was the son of a farmer from Derbyshire. As with many of the sweet purveyors of Britain, he was from a devout religious background - being a Wesleyan Methodist.

Bassett was apprenticed to a confectioner in Chesterfield, then relocated to Sheffield to strike out on his own as a retail confectioner. After a time, he sold the retail business and moved into confectionery manufacturing. He opened a steam powered confectionery factory in Portland Road, Infirmary Road, Sheffield in 1852. By 1876, it was the largest confectionery works in the world. George Bassett died in 1886, but the business continued to thrive.

The story goes that in 1899 the sales representative from Bassetts was visiting a Leicester wholesaler when a shop assistant knocked over his tray of samples. The wholesaler liked the resultant mix and promptly ordered a batch and Liquorice Allsorts were born!

Another one of the brand's biggest hits are Jelly Babies, which have been produced by Bassetts since 1918.

Bassetts is now based in the Sheffield district of Owlerton, where they have been since 1933. Via various mergers in recent years the Bassett brand is now part of Mondelez International, with the Sheffield factory the largest Mondelez factory in Europe.

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