The Internet was rife with heartbreak this week as news spread that Sweethearts, the tiny confectionaries with messages etched on them, would be increasingly difficult to track down for those looking to express their love on Valentine’s Day.
Last summer, after Revere-based New England Confectionery Co. closed its factory doors, the company’s various candy brands were sold off at auction to a host of businesses, breaking up a family of sweet treats that were produced locally for decades.
In a bid to save two nostalgic brands, Spangler Candy Co., which makes Dum Dums lollipops, snapped up the rights to Sweethearts and Necco Wafers.
But the Ohio-based company, citing “manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions,” announced in September that it wouldn’t be producing the multicolored hearts this year.
Instead, it plans to relaunch what’s been dubbed “the top Valentine’s Day candy” in time for the 2020 Valentine’s season.
“We want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market,” the company wrote, after acquiring Sweethearts and Necco Wafers. “We are particularly excited about the Sweethearts brand. Many people have memories of sorting through their box of Sweethearts to find just the right message to share.”
In a statement to the Globe Thursday, Kirk Vashaw, Spangler’s chief executive, said the company wished it could have the hearts available by February 14, “but it’s just not possible.”
“Doing it right takes time,” he said.
The company told MarketWatch this week that any leftovers floating around were likely produced before July, when Necco was still up and running.
Because the dainty declarations— whether it be “Love Me” or “Be Mine” — will apparently be missing from store shelves, according to CandyStore.com, the Globe came up with a few Boston-themed Sweethearts to hold you over until next year.
Amazon didn’t pick Boston, but I pick you
You stop my heart like the Red Line
Our love’s like Tom Brady: Better with age
I can’t Keytar Bear to be without u
Dunkin’ breakin my heartSteve Annear can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.