Mainly For Brummies But All Are Welcome To Join In The Birmingham Fun & Chat


C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#1 by Voltman , Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:22 pm

I know almost nothing about Kunzles Cake and so have started this thread in the hope of collecting some sort of finite history of the company.
My girlfriends Mother used to work there and so did SBs, I believe.
I got the company name from a 1960 Planning application to erect an Illuminated Factory Sign.

They were on the Garretts Green Industrial Estate, I think they preceded Chad Valley, a car company? and HRS in their use of the prominent building facing Blakenhale Road.
They made cakes called Showboats, which were small chocolate cups filled with a variety of cake concoctions. I can sometimes recall the taste and smell of these even though I was still in short trousers at the time.

And that's about it....... Please help.

Where did they come from? Where did they go to? What happened to them?

Voltman

 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#2 by Sheldonboy , Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Voltman
I will give you some info later on Kunzles it's too hard on a Blackberry. SB


If this was the best I could do. It wasn't good enough

 
Sheldonboy

Founder Member
Forum Administrator
Posts: 43.515
Date registered 12.22.2009


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#3 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:10 pm

Hi Voltman,

I just grabbed this bit of info from the net, but if you want to read more try this link,

http://www.kzwp.com/lyons/kunzle.htm

The firm of C. Kunzle Ltd was started in the early twenties by Christian Kunzle, a Swiss chef, who worked for a time at the House of Commons, Westminster. He opened a number of restaurants in and around Birmingham and the factory was established to supply cakes and pastry to these restaurants and later, to agencies. The firm was carried on by his son Ernest and grandson George, and became regional then national. The restaurants were sold but the factory continued to expand. it moved to Garret's Green in 1960 and by 1970 employed seven hundred people. In 1964 Kunzle was taken over by Fullers; in June 1968 Fuller/Kunzle was acquired by Scribbans-Kemp, and in November 1968 all the bakery interests of Scribbans-Kemp were bought by Lyons.


Phil


Make Love, Not War

phil

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#4 by Voltman , Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:21 pm

Phil
This seems to answer all my current questions in one go. I hope it doesn't kill the thread.
The bit about restaurants is something I found out for my self this afternoon. While looking through some "Old Birmingham" books, to see if I can find that miniature town hall of yours, I saw a photo showing a Kunzle restaurant in Union Street.
Thanks for the link I shall go and study the rest of that site later.

Voltman

 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#5 by Sheldonboy , Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:52 pm

Hello Volts
Kunzles, moved to Garretts Green from Five Ways. The factory was built on virgin land. This was Farm land up to the 1940's. Garretts Green lane was a country lane until this time.
My sister Ann worked for them at the time of the move and was dead chuffed when she found that she only had to walk around the corner to work. Shortly afterwards my Mom went to work there. A few things I remember, Kathy Dunn was a friend of my Mom she was also a Bakers Union shop steward.
Kunzles had a large contract in the 60's to make cakes for Marks and Spencers.
When she comes back after her house move Denise may have some memories, her Mom used to work there too.
A couple of the things Kunzles used to make were Cakelets they were the Choclatiest things you could ever eat. They were a spongy like Chocolate cake nearly an inch thick I seem to remember they were also covered in thick chocolate, they were as sickly as hell. They also did something called City Fingers. Some of their top sellers were Showboats, real fancy cakes but I didn't like them.
You posted earlier that you though that they precede Chad valley, a Car Company. Not so. Chad Valley was a toy company, they used to be in Harborne. This I know because my Brother in Law was an Aprentice Printer there printing their Toys and Games in the 1960's.
I hope some of this is helpful. SB


If this was the best I could do. It wasn't good enough

 
Sheldonboy

Founder Member
Forum Administrator
Posts: 43.515
Date registered 12.22.2009

Last edited 03.05.2010 | Top

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#6 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:01 pm

SB

Do you know I have never ate a Kunzle's cake in my life. When we were younger we just couldn't afford them and later I just never tried them because as I have said before I am not a cake eater. A fact that my wife is very grateful for when we attend functions that have meals with fixed menus.

Phil


Make Love, Not War

phil

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#7 by Sheldonboy , Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:32 am

Kunzles had a factory shop, in the 60's we could go and get a big bag of reject cakes for about a shilling. We could and did eat ourselves sick.


If this was the best I could do. It wasn't good enough

 
Sheldonboy

Founder Member
Forum Administrator
Posts: 43.515
Date registered 12.22.2009


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#8 by Voltman , Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:33 am

Good Mornings Shelds,

Thanks for all your info, It all adds to the picture.
How could anyone not like Showboats? it's chocolate and cake, what could be better? Unless of course you don't like chocolate or cake, or have no money.
When I said Chad Valley and the car company I did mean to refer to two different occupiers. I knew Chad Valley made toys cos' I used to have some and I just remember that after they left Garretts Green there was some sort of interior trim operation going on there.
Chad Valley is actually a place name next door to Harborne

You say the Industrial estate was farm land before Kunzles, we know Kunzles was built in 1960 and you were built somewhat earlier, this must have given you a clear view all the way to the airport.
What I really want to know though is what was the name of the farm? It wasn't Chestnuts Farm was it?
Carol came round with a postcard of The Chestnuts farm house last week and, not for the first time, we tried to find out where it had been. I found another photo on t'internet and it quite clearly shows that the photographer was in a road opposite the farm house and there is a (fairly modern) road sign saying "Garretts Green Lane" outside the farm house gate.
This says to me it was a T junction and one of the first to spring to mind is Blakenhale road. I also discovered that Garretts Green Lane was a good bit shorter in "The Old Days" which seriously limits the possibilities.

Can anyone throw any light on the location of The Chestnuts?
Phil... do you have any photographs?

Voltman


 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010

Last edited 03.06.2010 | Top

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#9 by signman ( deleted ) , Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:40 pm

Hi Voltman,
This is a 1916 map, and an early ad.
The Kunzle family home was a huge house at the top of the Holloway Northfield, where Merritts Brook Park is.

Here's a link to a small article and a few pics of Garratts green factory.
.http://www.kzwp.com/lyons/kunzle.htm


Attached pictures:
You do not have the necessary rights to view attached pictures
signman
Last edited Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:41 pm | Top

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#10 by Voltman , Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:05 pm

Thank You for that Signman,

I particularly like that piece of map, I've lived in it since I was 4.
It seems to indicate that the farm in question was Mackadown Farm.
This doesn't disprove the presence of The Chestnuts but I will have to do some more digging on that score.

The (Bell) Holloway is a funny road, you can still drive down it and you wouldn't know you were in Northfield 'til you get to the bottom.

Voltman

 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#11 by phil ( deleted ) , Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:17 pm

Voltmam

Now Sheldon is SB's patch and I would never presume to teach my grandmother how to suck eggs. But the Chestnuts (see photo) once stood where St Thomas's Church now stands in Rotherfield Rd.

The building you describe at the crossroads (see photo) was not Garretts Green Farm (see photo) but once stood quite close to where the Chestnut Public House now stands.

Phil


Make Love, Not War

Attached pictures:
You do not have the necessary rights to view attached pictures
phil

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#12 by Voltman , Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:20 pm

Well I've been off looking for that photo of The Chestnuts (farm house) and found it on another forum where a couple of suspicious characters were discussing pubs.
Interestingly neither one of them confirmed it was said farm house but the chimneys and roof gables certainly confirm that it is the same house as the one in the postcard.
I'll stop rambling now.

 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#13 by Voltman , Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:22 pm

Wow, while I was rambling Phil has come up trumps.
All is now explained.

Thank You Phil.

Voltman.

 
Voltman

Founder Member
Technical Administrator
Posts: 18.034
Date registered 02.24.2010


RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#14 by phil ( deleted ) , Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:30 pm

Voltman

You should stay away from other forums where there are suspicious characters especially if their names are suspiciously like Phil & SB.

Not that I would guide you away from other forums, but be on your guard against those two.

Phil


Make Love, Not War

phil

RE: C. Kunzle Ltd. Garretts Green Lane Birmingham

#15 by Sheldonboy , Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:12 pm

If I had my way I would start all new members in a nursery section.


If this was the best I could do. It wasn't good enough

 
Sheldonboy

Founder Member
Forum Administrator
Posts: 43.515
Date registered 12.22.2009


   

Newman Brothers Coffin Fitting Works
Morgans Sausage Meats or Butchers

Thank you for visiting our humble forum, make this your forum by joining us and posting your own thoughts and questions.