The Bassetts sweet company was founded by George Bassett, in Sheffield, in 1842.
George Bassett was born in Ashover in 1818 and at the age of 14 took an apprenticeship with a confectionerer & fruiterer, William Haslam of Chesterfield. George stayed for 3 years before buying a small confectionery and wine business in Broad Street, Park.
George had eight children with his first wife Sarah Hodgson whom he married in 1842. When Sarah died, George married again and had two sons.
In 1851, George took on a 12 year old apprentice,Samuel Meggitt Johnson. Samuel's mother had died and Samuel went to live with the Bassett family.
However, at the end of his apprentice Samuel went back to work for his father, a furniture retailer.
George took on a larger premises at Portland Road and in 1860, after a partnership with William Lodge, a local grocer, had failed, George persuaded Samuel to return to the business where in 1863 Samuel became a partner and later, the sole proprietor.
In 1868 Samuel married George's oldest daughter, who subsequently died, during childbirth, in 1870.
George Bassett became interested in politics to the extent that in 1876, he became Mayor of Sheffield, while in the same year the premises at Portland Road were expanded.
George Bassett had a stroke in 1878 and in 1886 died at the age of 68.
General Ulysses S Grant the President of the United States of America, visited Sheffield and stayed at the Bassett home, in Endcliffe Crescent.
In 1892 the Bassett factory had a serious fire which caused Samuel to have a nervous breakdown and a family dispute, because of inadequate insurance.
In 1900 a new factory was built at Owlerton , that traded under the name of S. M. Johnson & Son, where candid peel, gums, and other goods were made.
However, Licorice Allsorts and lozenges etc, were still made at the Portland Street factory.
The Bassetts sweet company mascot, named Bertie Bassett, was created in 1926 and still continues to represent the brand name to the present day.
This website is currently undergoing reconstruction. For that reason we are not selling any goods until the reconstruction is finished. We therefore ask that you DO NOT attempt to purchase any sweets or confectionery at this present time as we cannot guarantee refunding your money.
You are however still welcome to view our various information pages, such as the' History of Sweets' or 'How Sweets are made' etc etc
The company moved to Owleton in its entirety 1934 when a large factory was built on the Beulah Road.
Before the start of World War 1 the factory was made larger and new products such as Jelly products and Wine Gums were added to the sweet range. In 1918 they started to manufacture jelly products called ‘Peace Babies’ which we now know and love, as Jelly Babies.
In 1929 a large fire severely damaged the factory and hundreds of tons of sugar burnt adding fuel to the fire.
In 1989 Bassetts sweet company were taken over by Cadbury-schweppes and are now used as a brand name by Cadburys.
Perhaps the company's best known sweets are Liquorice Allsorts which, ironically, were created by accident in 1899.
The story goes that, apparently, the Allsorts mix was created by a clumsy salesman who spilt a tray of various liquorice creams and sweets, which landed in a pattern that appealed to the customer.
Owing to the success of the liquorice products such as Ju-Jubes and the Liquorice Allsorts, Bassett’s created other brands such as Victory V Lozenges, Zubes, Sherbet Fountains and Beech Nut.
Mint based products from Bassetts included Mint Imperials, Murray Mints and Clarnico Mint Creams.
Below is a copy of Pawson and Brailsford's article(1862), with some interesting photos, on George Bassett and the Bassetts sweet company, from The Illustrated Guide to Sheffield and Neighbourhood