Hoadley’s Violet Crumble bar

Hoadley’s began its life as a jam and preserve-making business.  In 1910, Hoadley’s sold the jam component of their business to Henry Jones and began the path to establish Hoadley’s Chocolates Limited in 1913, the year the Violet Crumble bar was born.  Abel Hoadley’s story is outlined in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

The Argus – 28 February 1911


The foundation-stone of the new confectionery and cocoa works of Messrs. A. Hoadley and Sons was laid on Saturday by Mr. Abel Hoadley, the founder of the firm. The works, when completed will consist of two floors and a basement, and the area of floor space will be over 10,000 square feet.

Mr. Hoadley, when laying the stone said that the builidng would be an entirely new departure as far as Australia was concerned, the material used being silicate bricks. Each floor would be supplied with hot and cold water services, and provision had been made for dressing-rooms for the employees, each of whom would have a separate locker. There would also be a dining room, from which, access could be gained to the roof, a portion of which would be laid out as a roof garden. ……. St Kilda Road

In 1923, the Violet Crumble bar was 10 years old and cost 3d : The Advertiser – 28 July 1923. In 1950, Hoadley’s raised the price from 4d to 5d : Sunday Herald – 10 September 1950.  The price rose by about a penny a year and was 8d by 1954.



In 1956, Hoadley’s was advertising their range of confectionery products on radio.  The Australian Women’s Weekly – 22 August 1956.

Rowntree bought Hoadley’s in 1971.  In 1989, Nestle bought Rowntree.  The Violet Crumble is still with us nearly 100 years on.  And these days you’ll need around $2.00 to buy yourself a 50 gram bar.

7 Comments on “Hoadley’s Violet Crumble bar”

  1. moonbear says:

    still worth every cent

  2. Andie says:

    We were told Violet Crumble bars were no longer being made, which we thought sacrilege. Glad to see it isn’t true and that it is only the bag of VCs which is no longer available.

    Truly scrumptious!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m really disappointed that the bags of VC’s are no longer available as I send these to my son and his friends in Norway. There is another brand but personally it is no comparison.

    • Nix says:

      I was astounded to find the bags are no longer available. Very disappointing. When you look at the description of the process of making VC on Wikipedia, I think it was probably a cost cutting measure. 😦

  3. Joann says:

    I know this is a very late response to this blog. My grandfather turns 100 next month and based on a few sources (including this site and wikipedia), we thought the violet crumble was launched in 1913, which would make them centenarians together. We were intending having violet crumbles everywhere for his party as he loves them and we thought that would be fun. However on the Nestle site it says 1923 rather than 1913 and I have just spoken to Nestle who confirmed that according to their records it was first created in 1923 by Hoadleys. I was just wondering where your source for it being 10 years of age in 1923 was because I know it’s possible that they have it wrong. Thanks in advance for any help!

    • Hi Joann
      My apologies for this late response as I have obviously missed your grandfather’s birthday. Here is the source for 1913. It is Wikipedia, but may have some credibility given the fact that the bar was being advertised in Australian papers in 1921 (two years before Nestle’s records).
      I trust that you had a great celebration for your grandfather nevertheless and didn’t let the party go without the violet crumbles. 🙂
      Best wishes

      In 1910, the jam business was sold to Henry Jones Co-operative Ltd. and in 1913, Hoadley’s Chocolates Ltd was formed.

      The same year, Hoadley produced his first chocolate assortment and packed them in a purple box decorated with violets. The packaging was in tribute to his wife’s favorite colour (purple) and favorite flower (violets). Within the box assortment was a piece of honeycomb that became so popular that Hoadley decided to produce an individual honeycomb bar.

      This proved trickier than first thought, because as the pieces of honeycomb cooled, they absorbed moisture and started sticking together. This hygroscopic nature of honeycomb led Hoadley to eventually dip his bars in chocolate, to keep the honeycomb dry and crunchy. It is likely that the honeycomb is coated in flour to keep them dry between creating the honeycomb and being coated in chocolate. Thus, in 1913, the Violet Crumble bar was created.

  4. […] a great story on Hoadleys Violet Crumble history read this blog by Lynne Buckler […]

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