Rob Whitehead, MD of the Serious Sweet Company and Confection by Design
Rob Whitehead, MD of the Serious Sweet Company and Confection by Design

Appeal launched after £50,000 Christmas stock stolen from Harrogate Confectioner

4 November 2014

A Harrogate confectioner has launched an appeal after £50,000 worth of Christmas sweets and chocolate destined for major retailers were stolen from its Harrogate warehouse.

Confection by Design and The Serious Sweet Company, both part of the Zubrance group, experienced a large theft of over 300,000 bags and boxes of confectionery including its award-winning fudge and toffee, as well as boiled sweets and chocolate destined for national retailers.

The thieves also took large quantities of the recently launched Ultimate English range, including a number of its limited edition Christmas products from Irish cream fudge to nougat, which were soon to be stocked on the shelves of independent retailers and farm shops in the run up to the festive period.

Launched in early 2014, the Ultimate English range is currently sold in over 200 outlets across Yorkshire and has already built up an extensive fan base both in the region and beyond. Products stolen also include all stock of the most popular Classic All Butter Fudge and Saltwater
Chocolate Truffle Fudge which was recently awarded a Great Taste Award. In 2013, The Serious Sweet Company sold over £2m of traditional English confectionery, marking an increase of 17% on the previous year.

Consumers are being urged to keep their eyes open for any products bearing the brands Ultimate English, Ultimate Collection, Confection by Design or Serious Sweet Company on sale in any unusual circumstances and to report any information to the police as soon as possible.

Rob Whitehead, MD of the Serious Sweet Company and Confection by Design said: The theft has caused a lot of disruption which could not have happened at a worse time than in the run up to Christmas. Obviously the value of the stolen stock is significant but what’s more upsetting is the impact it will have on our ability to meet Christmas orders for our customers, particularly those who stock the Ultimate English range.

We have spent the last nine months building up a strong base of fantastic independent retailers who have given us immense support in launching Ultimate English and we will do whatever we can to make sure we don’t let them down.

As a team we are working hard to produce and pack more products so we can fulfil our Christmas orders and still make show and event commitments. Although it might come in slightly different packaging, I guarantee our fudge fans won’t be left without their sugar fix this festive period.

Once again, we urge anyone who spots products bearing the brands Ultimate English, Ultimate Collection or Serious Sweet Company to contact the police as soon as possible and help us spread the word far and wide to catch these sweet-toothed offenders. I guess it just shows people really will do anything to get their hands on our delicious fudge!

Anyone with information about the theft should contact Harrogate CID on 101, select option 2 and ask for Sam Harding. Alternatively, information can be emailed to or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting reference number 12140189450.

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