Our Story

Man pouring vat of liquid
Three Liquorice Pieces
Batch37 Fresh Liquorice
Man pouring vat of liquid with man receiving it
Rocket Bar
Rocklea Road Milk Chocolate Original
  1. Harry Lea moved from England to Australia and started life with his family in Perth. His parents paid for him to learn to make confectionery but it wasn't until amost two decades later that he started using these skills.

  2. With his knowledge of confectionery, Harry started producing different treats out of his fruit shop to boost sales and bring in some extra cash during hard times.

  3. In 1924, Harry and his wife Esther opened a Milk Bar and confectionery store to sell their sweet treats out of.

  4. In 1927, 'Darrell Lea' was created. Harry opened a shop in Sydney Haymarkets to sell his delicious confectionery, naming the shop Darrell Lea after his youngest son.

  5. Darrell Lea confectionery co. was officially registered.

  6. In 1936, the first Darrell Lea factory opened under the first arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

  7. Darrell Lea began to expand and the first interstate store was opened in Swanston street in Melbourne.

  8. One of the most iconic Australian products was invented by Harry Lea as a gift for his wife Esther. This recipe has stayed the same for over 50 years.

  9. In 1957 Harry Lea created his famous black liquorice. This creation was an accident as one of the liquorice batches went wrong. The next day he gave out the liquorice for free in brown paper bags and found that people were really enjoying this new soft liquorice. Harry worked to replicate what had happened and then started producing a soft liquorice which quickly became one of his top selling products.

  10. Factory destroyed by fire.

  11. Darrell Lea ownership moved from the Lea family to the Quinn family. With this sale came a lot of changes to the business. The stores were closed and the products were now being sold in grocery stores. As well as this, the 800 + products that were being made got cut to a range of around 100.

  12. A year had passed and business was once again booming!

  13. By 2018, the Quinn family decided it was time for them to move on from Darrell Lea and sold the business to a private equity group - Quadrant.