John entered the family business in 1955, aged 19, and helped develop the chocolate operation. Gradually this began to expand through sales to pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops.
In 1964 Claire and John decided to expand the business and set about developing the chocolate side further. One of the chocolates selected for automation was a mint flavoured product derived from an old nougatine recipe used by Claire’s sister, Mrs Margery Smales, who had worked for the Company previously.
Eventually this product became an international winner and was exported to more than 25 countries as well as being served with coffee in thousands of outlets in the UK.