Before the company became Lees Foods Plc, it was first known as Lees of Scotland. John J. Lees, the son of a Grocer, created the company in 1931. Lees is credited with the invention of the Macaroon bar. Initially, Lees wanted to create a fondant bar made of chocolate. After he did not succeed, he proceeded to cover the fondant bar with lots of coconut, thus the creation of the Macaroon Bar. This creation then became the company’s flagship product.
In the early years of the business, the company also manufactured snowballs and teacakes. In 1982, Lees co-founded a new company, Heather Cameron Foods, and expanded the company’s range when it started to produce meringues. After seven years of being in a partnership, Lees bought its partner’s share in order to fully own Heather Cameron Foods.
In 1991, Northumbrian Fine Foods acquired Lees. Two years later, Klaus Perch-Nielsen and Raymond Miguel purchased the company. Under the new ownership, the company returned to independent ownership. In August of 1998, Lees relocated to a bigger facility (82,000 sq. ft.) in order to store all of the company’s products in one building.
Currently, Lees contributes significantly to the local community as an employer, employing over 200 people at the factory. The company continues to work towards the creation of new products and the launching of its existing products to new customers. Today, Lees produces a wide variety of bakery products such as snowballs, meringues, cakes and confectionery bars. The company also sells seasonal snacks, which include Halloween Gooballs, Snowmallows (during Easter) and mini Snowballs (during Christmas).
In June of 2005, Lees was listed at the AIM. In March of 2009, Lees divested itself of Pattiserrie UK Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary. Since the company became a public limited company, Lees of Scotland Ltd. had become its subsidiary. Another subsidiary of Lees is Waverly Bakery Ltd. In May of 2011, Lees profits exceeded the £1 million mark, proof that the company is doing well in the area of retail bakery products. Despite this achievement, Lees continues to work to provide its customers with high-quality bakery and confectionery products.
Headquarters: North Lanarkshire, England
Ownership Type: public limited company
Employees: 277 (as of 2010)
Demography: retail food consumers