The current factory is in part of the old 'Creamery' on the north edge of Kendal and covers around 2000sqm. Gawith Hoggarth & Co moved into this premises in 1993 - 1994, having outgrown the factory on Lowther Street.
As production demands grew, the old factory at Lowther Street did not have the layout or capacity required and so in 1993 Gawith Hoggarth & Co moved into 3 more modern adjoining warehouses, on the edge of Kendal, in what was the old Creamery. Overtime additional smaller units have been taken on to cope with changes in demand.
When the company moved to these premises, John Gawith invested in a small production unit from British American Tobacco, which enabled production to be ramped up significantly. But while this allows much greater quantities of tobacco leaf to be cut, much of the production is still done by hand.
For a few years following the move, production of twist, some pipe tobacco and the packaging of snuff continued at Lowther Street, but once the twist machines could be moved to the new location, all work stopped at Lowther Street.
Whilst the building and surroundings are now very different to what they once were, much has remained the same. Twist is still produced by two ladies sat at the ancient twist machine, hand rolling the larger tobacco leaves into the rope tobacco. A number of the ancient wooden presses from Lowther Street still mould and hold the flake tobacco cakes and twist ropes under pressure. And snuff is still blended in a small back room.
As well as a much larger production area, the factory has a large secure bonded warehouse, offices, a small humidor and a packing and distribution area. Leaf now arrives in large cardboard boxes or sacks, and is stored in the cool warehouse until needed for production. Then it is put into a vacuum chamber and steam is pumped through to rehydrate the tobacco. From there a series of conveyor belts take the tobacco leaf through a conditioning cylinder to add more moisture, into a large container where it is layered and then cut, mixed before being dried and then flavoured. In order to make different tobaccos the machinery must be altered to cut at different widths.
The finished tobacco products are then still weighed by hand into bags or tins, sealed and packed and await distribution to retailers all over the world.
Much has changed in recent years and now each country has its own labelling requirements, warning labels must be printed in the language of that country and have specific graphics. In 2016 the plain packaging requirement came into force for tobacco in the UK along with further advertising restrictions. All hand rolling tobacco now has to be compliant with Track & Trace requirements and from 2024 this will also apply to pipe tobacco. Flavoured hand rolling tobacco can no longer be sold in the UK from May 2020.
In 2015 Gawith Hoggarth acquired Samuel Gawith's business, goodwill and trademarks and brands (not the Kendal Brown House) and a number of staff from Samuel Gawith's joined Gawith Hoggarth & Co and continue to make the Samuel Gawith brands, all under one roof.
The company currently employs around 30 people including a small dedicated sales team, a production team and a packing and dispatch team.