Ferndale Foods Australia was founded in 1995, by Bruce Edward.
In 1993, after working for a global confectionery organization for 18 years, Bruce decided he had had enough. Bruce had a vision to develop, produce and market a new range of innovative confectionery concepts on his own. For two years, Bruce researched, planned and evaluated the opportunities behind closed doors. He also spent week’s overseas, researching market trends and searching for potential suppliers/partners. In March 1995, Bruce mortgaged the family home, borrowed as much money as the bank would allow, and built a small factory at 5 Paddy’s Drive, Delacombe, Victoria. Ferndale Confectionery was born
During the early years, Ferndale was commonly known as ‘Bruce Incorporated,’ as Bruce did almost everything. He developed the brands; the strategy’s and built the machinery to make them. He travelled the world pitching JILA® & JOLS® to wholesalers, retailers and virtually any business that had a front door. Bruce’s wife Vicki would remain in the Ballarat office, answering phones, taking orders and making sure that the kids were picked up from School on time.
Bruce’s oldest son Jarrod, and three of Jarrod’s school friends were employed to run the first packing machine, making stock only after an order was received. The early years were tough and the days were long- Bruce would often work 15 hour days, building the brands one sale at a time. Bruce & Vicki’s two youngest kids, Tara & Leigh would spend school holidays helping out in whatever way they could.
Ferndale grew at a staggering rate, gaining major supply contracts with all major retailers and by 2004, Ferndale was exporting to 8 international markets. In 2005, after 10 years of operation, Ferndale had cemented its place as a major confectionery supplier to the Australian market, and was fielding inquiries from across the world.
Over the last 26 years, the business has continued to diversify and invest in our brands, people, technology, and processes.
As a result, Ferndale Confectionery’s well-known brands including JILA® MINTS, JOLS® PASTILLES & LICORETTE® are now distributed in over 14 countries, and continue to grow as consumers seek out permissible, guilt free snacking options.
Ferndale is also a specialist manufacturer in the private label confectionery space. We manufacture and distribute large volumes of private label confectionery products for customers in Australia, but also in other global markets.
Ferndale’s specialist manufacturing capabilities has also allowed us to offer our services to other organisations in the areas of research & development and co manufacturing / co packing. This is an area of the business that continues to grow.
In addition to Ferndale, the Edward Family launched The So Soft Marshmallow Co® in 2018. So Soft® is one of Australia’s fastest growing confectionery brands, and the Delacombe facility is now regularly producing over 50,000kg of marshmallows each week in various formats including branded, private label, food service and ingredient inclusions.
The group is currently advancing plans to build and commission our third manufacturing facility, which will be the largest in the group, to produce new, innovative products for new categories.
As a result, the organisation is now much more than the humble confectionery company that was founded in 1995.
Instead, the group is now a diversified, multi-faceted, innovative food company.
Therefore in August 2021, we have opted to bring it all together under one consolidated banner, Ferndale Foods Australia
The group continues to be 100% Family Owned and Operated by the Edward Family.