Necco fans have been panicking since CEO Michael McGee announced in March that the iconic New England candy company would close if it could not find a buyer by May 6. Fans of the chalky candy disks have been buying up as many as they can get their hands on. One woman even tried to trade her car for a supply of Necco wafers. Now there’s a glimmer of hope, because former Necco CEO Al Gulachenski has announced that he wants to buy the company and continue making Necco Wafers, Clark Bars, and conversation hearts.
According to CandyStore.com, Gulachenski became chief executive of Necco in 2011. In 2012, he even reportedly made the company profitable for the first time in decades. Gulachenski says he can make the company profitable again, but he needs a little help from the rest of us to make it happen.
Gulachenski told CandyStore.com that it would take $30 million to buy the company. He said he’d put in $5 to $10 million himself, and to make up the $20 million shortfall he has started a campaign on GoFundMe.
GoFundMe has seen some pretty impressive campaigns in its history. A hot dog vendor who had his cash seized by police received more than $87,000 in donations from a GoFundMe campaign. Still, Gulachenski’s $20 million goal is significantly higher than the largest GoFundMe campaign so far, which raised $11.8 million for victims of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017.
Gulachenski says there is another buyer interested in Necco, but that buyer intends to “liquidate the company, fire all the employees and close the doors of NECCO forever,” he wrote in his GoFundMe campaign.
If Gulachenski manages to raise the $20 million, he says he and his team of marketing, research and development, finance, and operations experts will work to make the 170-year-old company profitable again. He also said he’d make the GoFundMe contributors shareholders.
“I can promise you that if you donate you will own a piece of NECCO as I will issue shares to everyone that contributes money,” Gulachenski wrote in his GoFundMe campaign.
Gulachenski did not specify how the GoFundMe ownership would work, but so far he’s raised $245. There’s clearly still a long way to go to save Necco Wafers, one of the iconic candies of the past that still exists, for now.