REVERE (CBS) – The company that makes Necco wafers and Sweethearts shut down without warning Tuesday.

The news came as a shock to employees of the 171-year-old confection company famous for its iconic wafers and sweethearts and chocolates. Maria and her husband are among 230 workers who found out yesterday they will lose their jobs.

“I feel very sad about it because everybody just lost their job,” said Maria.

necco2 Company That Makes Iconic Sweethearts, Necco Wafers Abruptly Shuts Down

Some employees had been reportedly working at the plant for several decades.

The company is one of Revere’s largest employers and while it had been struggling financially, the mayor of Revere, blindsided by the news, said there seemed to be a positive road ahead with a new buyer.

“We were hopeful that the new folks would turn around Necco the way that they had turned around previous companies that they came in and bought,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo.

The company was just purchased at an emergency bankruptcy auction in May, but while it’s been sold again the new owners have not been disclosed and it’s unclear if they’ll continue candy production.

“They got a tax deal to come to our city,” Mayor Arrigo said. “To be in this situation where now they’re leaving and without any notification, is disappointing and unfortunate.”

The cloud of secrecy and the suddenness of the announcement left workers who attended a company meeting Tuesday shaken and uncertain.

“Some people cry because they work a long time in there like 30-40 years,” Maria said.

The mayor says several local companies are offering potential jobs though not enough to fill every position. For now, employees have been told to pick up their final paychecks Friday.

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