Made in Ireland
in 1844.. He was reared and educated in Canada and came to Limerick, Ireland in 1864 to assist his uncle, Mr Ben Journeaux, who had a large agricultural machinery business there called J.P. Evans and Company.
However it was the dairy industry where Thomas came to make his mark. Again Thomas acquired a mill that had been used for textiles and then flour but which he rearranged for the manufacture of butter and other dairy products in 1882.. His brothers were instrumental in establishing a large number of creameries throughout Munster and their output was channelled into a second factory which Thomas opened in 1889 and which he situated across the road from his mill.
Within 10 years, the Cleeves Brothers operated the largest milk processing factory in Ireland. But ahead of his time, Thomas saw the advantage of adding value as well as forward integration to his operations and so aside from processing the cream and skim milk, the factory branched out into the manufacture of butter, chocolate, tinned condensed milk, cream, boxes and most importantly for our business, sweets and particularly toffee.
However the business suffered a massive decline once the war ended and the company went into liquidation in 1923. Such a change in its fortunes can be attributed to a number of factors: