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Kunzle Showboats

......Kunzle...Cakes...Ltd........

Sharon & Andy Lawton have sent in a photograph of their spectacular Chocolate Crown & Cushion made by Christian Kunzle for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. The measurements are: Crown: 5" x 3.5" Cushion: 6" x 6" x 1". Also for a point of interest, the label on the box has the factory address as:.C Kunzle Ltd, Fiveways, Birmingham, 15. They are searching for any information about this unusual novelty item which is still in its original box with straw packing. Please cantact them at TeamLawton@aol.com


Forty thousand dozen Showboat cakes left the Garrett's Green, Birmingham, factory every week. It was their biggest-selling line. They consisted of small chocolate-shells which were filled with sponge cake, topped with butter cream, then piped and decorated by hand. The cakes were then individually wrapped and packed in boxes of six or twenty-four. Their recommended retail price was 3/3d for the six pack, or 7d wrapped and packed into boxes as individual pieces.

Mint Meringues, Fondant Fancies, Macaroon, Cakelets and Home Made Crackle Cakes were just a few of the other popular lines the company made under the Fuller or Kunzle brands. Own-label cake for Marks & Spencer, British Home Stores and Tesco were also made at the Garrett's Green factory.

The firm of C. Kunzle Ltd was started in the early twenties by Christian Kunzle, a Swiss chef, who worked for a time at the House of Commons, Westminster. He opened a number of restaurants in and around Birmingham and the factory was established to supply cakes and pastry to these restaurants and later, to agencies. The firm was carried on by his son Ernest and grandson George, and became regional then national. The restaurants were sold but the factory continued to expand. it moved to Garrett's Green in 1960 and by 1970 employed seven hundred people. In 1964 Kunzle was taken over by Fullers; in June 1968 Fuller/Kunzle was acquired by Scribbans-Kemp, and in November 1968 all the bakery interests of Scribbans-Kemp were bought by Lyons.

Garrett's Green Factory

Chocolate enrobed cakelets on the production line. Nov. 1969.

A. Page (Chocolate manager)
Marianne Bennett

Garrett's Green Factory

Decorating Showboats. Nov. 1969

L-R Pat Hope, Mrs. E Pillinger and Hetty Carter.

Garrett's Green Factory

Packaging Showboats.Nov. 1969.

 

© Peter Bird 2002

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