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W. Menz & Co.

In 1849 John Menz and Magdalena Lass arrived in Adelaide from Hamburg. They married in the Holy Trinity Church on North Terrace later that year. Menz was an architect but instead of returning to this profession, he established a bakery on Wakefield Street in 1850. Here he baked bread, cakes and biscuits and also sold groceries. Menz died in 1856 and Magdalena continued the business. The Menz's sons, William and August, joined the business when they were old enough and after William took over the firm in 1867, the company began trading as W. Menz and Co.

In 1885 W. Menz and Co. built a new plant to increase the company's biscuit production and in 1892 the company expanded into manufacturing confectionary. During 1910 the Menz plant expanded again to increase the production of chocolate. In 1914 it was resolved to sell the bread-making plant and concentrate on confectionary making.

By 1953, production of most Menz products had moved to larger premises at Marleston. The biscuit-manufacturing arm of W. Menz and Co. was sold to Arnott's in 1962 and by 1979, after a series of take-overs and mergers, the company was known as Arnott-Motteram-Menz.

In 1992 the Menz confectionary was bought by the South Australian dried fruit and confectionary company Robern after Arnott-Motteram-Menz was taken over by an American company.

Some well-loved Menz products still produced by Robern Menz include Crown Mints and FruChocs. Arnott's still make Yo Yo biscuits, a long time South Australian favourite invented by W. Menz and Co. According to Arnott's, South Australians consume more than one million packets of honey flavoured Yo Yo biscuits a year. Many South Australians were upset when Arnott's announced that Yo Yos would be removed from their Family Assorted packets in 1997, when the decision was made that the selection of biscuits would be the same throughout Australia. The Yo-Yo was just not popular enough country-wide to survive in the mix of the variety pack. [See: Weir, Sam. 'Oh no, our beloved Yo-Yo has packed up and gone solo', The Advertiser, 28 June 1997, p. 3 and Opinion letter: 'An outrage', The Advertiser, 7 July 1997, p. 8]

Advertisement for Menz's Yo-Yo biscuits
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Biscuit making at the Menz factory
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W. Menz & Co. staff group
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