History
Produced in the same traditional manner for over a hundred years Kendal Mint Cake is still made by hand in traditional open topped copper pans using only the finest raw materials.

SUGAR, GLUCOSE SYRUP AND OIL OF PEPPERMINT

Kendal Mint Cake is thought to have been created by accident by Joseph Wiper in 1869. Wiper developed Wipers Mint Cake which proved to be a popular product in the local area. Wipers was eventually taken over by Romneys (see below).

Expeditions
Mint cake has become an essential survival food for ambitious expeditions all over the planet. With a high-energy value of 350cals per 100g it has been consumed from the top of Mount Everest to the sands of the Sahara. You don’t have to be Sherpa Tensing or Benedict Allen to enjoy a bar of mint cake, however, it tastes refreshing and very minty is a great reward whether walking the dog or a trekking up the Lakeland fells.

Everest 1953
Kendal Mintcake was carried to the top of Mount Everest on the first successful expedition in May 1953. George Romney Ltd were approached at short notice just a few weeks earlier to supply the team and staff gave up their own sweet rations to help complete the order. One member of the expedition wrote “it was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration… our only criticism was that we didn’t have enough of it”. “We sat in the snow and looked at the country far below us as we nibbled Kendal Mint Cake.”

Makers
Mint cake is still created in Kendal by three established manufacturers…

Romneys; this firm was first started in 1918 by Mr. S.T. Clarke, grandfather of the present managing director Mr. Shane Barron, the third generation who is now handing over to his son John Barron, the forth generation. Mr Clarke started out as a sweet wholesaler when he was invalided out of the 1914-1918 war, and when he was unable to obtain supplies of Kendal mint cake during the summer season he purchased an old recipe and started manufacturing business. This proved to be quite successful, but was given a tremendous boost when after advertising in a climbing magazine Mr. Clarke was approached by the 1953 expedition to Everest, to see whether he could supply mint cake to them within 7 days. This had to be packed in to high altitude packs for inclusion in the supplies to be sent on ahead, hence the need for hast. Fortunately he had sufficient stock to meet their needs, and his staff willingly gave up their sweet ration coupons to comply with the law. These coupons were later refunded by the ministry of food. Sir Edmund Hilary and Sirdar Tensing ate this mint cake on top of Everest as they gazed at the countryside down below. Tensing also left some to appease his 'gods'. This happening naturally increased sales of mint cake to hikers and climbers and visitors to the Lake District.
According to legend, a Kendal confectioner, intending to make glacier mints, took his eye off the cooking pan for a minute and then, resuming his task, noticed that the mixture had started to 'grain' and become cloudy, instead of clear. When poured out, the result was Mint Cake. Despite claims from various manufacturers, the discovery must be accredited to one Joseph Wiper, who started closely-guarded production at his tiny Ferney Green factory in Kendal in 1869. The Kendal Mint Cake was primarily sold to the locals and due to its success the product was sent via Kendal's Railway Station, once a week, to other parts in the North East of England.
In 1910 Mr. Wiper retired to live in Victoria, British Columbia where one of his sons opened a shop selling Wiper's Mint Cake. The Kendal Mint Cake business was left to his great nephew Mr. Robert Wiper. It was this man who realised the potential of Kendal Mint Cake as an energy supplier and who supplied the 1914-1917 Transarctic Expedition under the command of Sir E Shackleton and the 1st Everest Expedition. These two expeditions gave Mint Cake a whole new image.
Mr. Harry Wiper was the last owner of Wipers; he was left in charge of the firm when his father died in 1960. In 1987 the firm was sold to Romney's who still use the Wipers name and method of production alongside their own. George Romney Limited was founded by the late Sam T. Clarke, who owned a wholesale confectioners in Kendal. Sam found it difficult to obtain Mint Cake so in 1919 he decided to buy an old Mint Cake recipe, and started a factory in Leightons Yard, Highgate. This was later moved to Waterside Works and then to a purpose built factory on the Mintsfeet Industrial Estate. The name George Romney came from the well known portrait painter and also, the family home happened to be in Romney Road.


Quiggins date back to a family confectioners on the Isle of Man. They even presented the first ever stick of rock to Prince Albert during a visit by Queen Victoria in 1845.

Wilsons started producing mint cake in new inn yard Kendal in 1913 and still produce mint cake today.