At Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Dunedin work has begun restoring a long-disused building to it’s original appearance. Like many older buildings its facade was shaved in the name of modernisation in the 1950’s when the ornate features went out of vogue. However, Dunedin is renown for its outstanding architectural heritage and so the return to plaster and parapets is a welcome and appropriate move.
The Cadbury Dairy Building, parts of which are apparently over 150 years old, was home to R. Hudson & Co. Confectionery from about 1900 until Hudsons merged with Cadbury Brothers in 1930. At the time the Castle St building was Cadbury’s main entrance, but this was later moved to Cumberland St and the old office building used for storage space.
The project is expected to be completed in April.
For those of you more interested in chocolate than architecture you can see, and taste (free samples!) what goes on inside Cadbury’s factory on one of their popular tours.
EDIT: On February 15th 2017, just a few days after this post was written, Cadbury informed their Dunedin staff that the factory would close at the end of this year, making 350 redundant. Mondelez International, who own the Cadbury brand, claim that logistics is the main reason for the closure, as 70% of the factory’s product is exported to Australia, and shipping costs from Dunedin are excessive. Factories in Australia will handle production from 2018, sending a relatively small proportion of their output to New Zealand, significantly reducing the company’s overall freight bill. Mondelez International are considering outsourcing manufacture of Kiwi-only favourites such as Jaffas and Pineapple Lumps to a local third party.
There has been no official word on the future of the buildings, but presumably the renovations will be completed as planned if Cadbury have already committed to a renovation contract. They will be looking to sell the factory complex, which comprises nearly a whole city block.
The future of Cadbury World, whose tours and souvenir shop attracts over 100,000 tourists a year, is uncertain. 2017 is likely to be the final Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, and the legendary Baldwin St Jaffa race.