A sensitive approach to the site’s rich history and heritage

Site history

The factory was originally built in 1913 by Eugen Sandow, a bodybuilder and former World’s Strongest Man (1889), who claimed chocolate as the source of his strength. However, the business failed just three years later, when it was forced out of the market by the established chocolate producers (Cadbury’s, Rowntrees, etc.), who lowered their prices.

The buildings and assets transferred to the new Hayes Cocoa Company in August 1916. Hayes Cocoa was owned by a large Swiss chocolate company – Peter, Cailler, Kohler (PCK) – until 1929 when it was acquired by Nestlé, who began producing chocolate as an integral part of the business.

In 1939, Nescafé launched in the UK and it was an ‘instant hit’. In the 1990s, the factory moved away from milk and plain chocolate products, and was the key manufacturer of white chocolate – namely the Milky Bar.

In 2012, Nestlé began scaling down operations and in 2014 they moved production to new facilities in Derbyshire.

In 2015/16, SEGRO acquired the site and partnered with Barratt London to develop a high-quality, urban regeneration project that will deliver up to 1,400 new homes, jobs and public spaces for Hayes.

Barratt London and SEGRO understand that that the site’s history is very important to the community and has been an integral part of Hayes for over 100 years. We will reflect and celebrate this history in our new development.

If you have any memories of the site or any history you would like to share with us, please get in touch here.