Kendal Mint Cake was first made in 1869 by Mr. Joseph Wiper. Mr. Wiper married Miss Thompson whose family had a small confectionery business.
He worked in their shop at number 78 Stricklandgate, now the site of the Kendal Library. The Thompson family made many different sweets but Mr. Wiper’s sugar boiling sweet abilities helped to increase the sales by producing new lines of sweets.
From an old recipe and after some experimenting, he produced a minty sweet which resembled a cake, and so the name ‘Kendal Mint Cake’ was formed.
The business increased under Mr. Wipers ownership and was moved to a larger shop at Ferney Green Steam Confectionery Works in Malt Kiln Hill, Kendal. Here not only was Kendal Mint Cake sold but also Kendal Butter Toffy, Black Bulls Eyes and many more sweets which were popular in the last century. The Kendal Mint Cake was sold for 20 years primarily 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 realized 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 with Mint Cake.
Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake was taken on the 1st Everest Expedition when bars were packed in airtight cases of 40lbs weight (the maximum load for the Tibetan porter to carry). These two Expeditions gave Mint Cake a whole new image.
Mr. Harry Wiper was the last owner of Wiper’s, 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 to this very day.
To read the full history of Romney's click here