For many years the tall chimney of Buchanan’s Confectionery works was a familiar landmark on the skyline from around Woodside. The business had been founded in the 1850’s by John Buchanan and his brothers. with the Stewart Street works being opened in 1869. Extensions to the factory were required over the years, and the famous chimney was added in 1905. Jam and other preserves were added to the range of goods produced, and these were exported across the world including the U.S.A. and the Far East.
At its peak the factory had over 1,000 employees, although that decreased to around 450 by the 1950’s. The firm was one of the first in Scotland to employ female administrative staff.
The business remained in the hands of the family until the second half of the 20th century when it merged with other companies. The buildings were demolished in 1967, but production of the long-time favourites such as russian caramels and buttered brazils continues today at premises in Greenock.