END OF AN ERA: Weis founder Les Weis outside the Weis factory after it was purchased by Unilever in 2017.
END OF AN ERA: Weis founder Les Weis outside the Weis factory after it was purchased by Unilever in 2017.

‘It’s wrong’: Weis family speaks on iconic factory closure

YESTERDAY was an emotional day for former Weis managing director Julie Weis.

She had tried for the better part of a week to talk Unilever out of closing the iconic Toowoomba ice cream factory.

"I had hoped, right up until, I guess (yesterday), that they would take some of the things I'd said on-board," she said.

"But they haven't done that. It's disappointing, and wrong, in my belief.

"We would not have sold had we known this was going to be the outcome."

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The homegrown Toowoomba company was sold to global consumer goods giant Unilever in 2017.

Ms Weis said her family was "extremely disappointed" by the company's decision to shut up shop in Toowoomba.

"There were undertakings given by Unilever, who were very strongly supportive of the factory in Toowoomba," she said.

"On the basis of that, in amongst the other people that we had interested in the business, we made the decision (to sell to them).

"It wasn't written in the contract. You'd never get a company to put that in a contract. But there were all sorts of discussions that went on and things that made us convinced that's what they were intending to do."

Ms Weis said her family had managed the business for 62 years before selling to Unilever.

"There are always pressures of course but our brand, by staying true to it, and the quality of the product, has always seen us through," she said.

"I don't know what could have happened in two years that could have made it all of a sudden so different."

Ms Weis said she herself had wonderful opportunities in the Weis business and she hoped by selling to Unilever, jobs would be available for future Toowoomba generations.

"The sort of people that we have working there, they're good people and they'll hopefully find something else. It's the next generation and the generation after that which I guess is the fallout from this decision," she said.