Taking a family business into the future

“You don’t have to build for the day – you have to expand for what you perceive to be your needs for going into the next 5-10 years.”
- Charlie McCarthy, Hilliards Chocolates

Hilliards Chocolates

Client background

Judy Hilliard McCarthy and Charlie McCarthy are the co-owners of Hilliards Chocolates, a family-owned business started in 1924. In 2007, Julie and Charlie were at a crossroads regarding what direction to go with their business. They were performing at capacity, so the logical option was to grow but that would require more room, a new production kitchen and a new warehouse.

The Moment

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There were two properties that abutted their main store. Purchasing them would be a great opportunity, providing the desired space and operational efficiencies needed, but Julie and Charlie were unsure how to finance such an expansion. Being Webster Bank customers for over 20 years, they knew exactly who they needed to talk to.


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Our response

The Webster team worked closely with Julie and Charlie to put together a financing package that would allow them to purchase the two properties. They also helped them leverage their ownership of these properties and their business to secure an equity loan. This enabled them to break ground on their new production kitchen and warehouse.

Webster has been an integral partner in the continued growth of Hilliard’s Chocolates, providing solutions to support and respond to their goals including:

  • Business checking and savings accounts to help Hilliards manage their day-to-day finances more effectively.
  • Business line of credit to give Hilliards access to cash for working capital when they need it.
  • Commercial mortgage to help facilitate the purchase of the commercial real estate necessary to move Hilliards Chocolates’ growth plans.
  • Personal mortgage to help Julie and Charlie with life beyond their business.
  • Term loans to help cover long-term financing needs without interrupting working capital.

The result

Within six months, the McCarthys closed on their land purchases and moved forward with their plans for the new kitchen and warehouse. Since then, Hilliards has experienced new efficiencies and is pursuing growth opportunities in high-end locations as well as new wholesale relationships. Hilliard is positioned better than ever to continue growing their legacy business for future generations.


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