The New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) won’t be making Sweethearts with the words “For Sale” imprinted on them anytime soon.  

The owners of the Revere, Mass.-based company announced this week in a media release that “the process to explore strategic options has been suspended.” The exploratory process began in November 2010, and was led by Sawaya Segalas & Co. LlC, a New York City-based consumer product-focused investment banking firm.  

Dave Smith, NECCO’s coo, says the decision was based on the fact that the opportunities for the company are quite strong, and that critical improvements have been made to the business.  

For example, the company continues to make operational enhancements, including efficiencies in shipping practices, broadening of distribution channels, strengthening of its partner relationships, and refining of production processes.  

Also, the Original NECCO Wafer is being re-launched later in March, and the company is developing a robust pipeline of new products. 

 In the media release, the company says management has confidence that recent improvements in the business, combined with continued support from its partners and local officials, will greatly improve NECCO’s growth trajectory.  

“Our employees take enormous pride in what we do here at NECCO,” Smith says. ‘We are honored to have the continued support of our investors, partners, local officials, and of course, those who enjoy our candy.”  

NECCO - which manufactures and distributes brands such as Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, NECCO Wafers, Clark Bar, Haviland and Mary Jane - is the oldest multi-line candy company in the U.S.

For more information, visit www.necco.com

-C.L.