Condensed Milk Company of Ireland

Condensed Milk Company Of Ireland

Defunct Company
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Condensed Milk Company of Ireland

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The Condensed Milk Company of Ireland Limited was an Irish manufacturer of dairy products and, in its heyday, the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom. Its most famous product was Cleeve's Toffee, a popular confectionery which continued to be sold in Ireland until the 1980s.


The business was established in 1883The Irish Times, "Prospectuses", November 27 1897, (p.10) by Thomas Cleeve, a Canadian of English extraction. Cleeve first came to Ireland as a teenager to work for J. P. Evans & Co., a Limerick-based supplier of agricultural machinery owned by his uncle. Over the next 20 years Cleeve rose to become managing director of this company.Lee, David and Jacobs, Debbie, Made in Limerick Vol.1, History of industries, trade and commerce, Limerick Civic Trust, 2003

Through his contacts with Irish farmers, Cleeve saw the potential to process milk and manufacture dairy products for home consumption and export. Together with Edmond Russell,a local businessman, and William Beauchamp, a solicitor, Cleeve acquired Lansdowne, a site on the northern bank of the River Shannon. There, the partners set up a factory to produce condensed milk and butter.

Early Development

In 1889, the business was incorporated as a private limited company. Within ten years 60,000 tins of condensed milk were being produced daily at its Limerick headquarters, with 10,000 cows...
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