Posted September 21, 2018 in Press Releases
BRYAN, OHIO - Spangler Candy Company has announced it is expanding its campus and its product lines.
Spangler has purchased and is making plans to renovate the adjacent 20-acre campus owned by New Era Ohio LLC (NEO), providing additional room for warehouse space, future expansion and growth.
In addition, Spangler has acquired two iconic candy brands – Sweethearts and NECCO Wafers. The brands and equipment only were obtained following a series of transactions precipitated by the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) bankruptcy.
“The combination of Dum-Dums, candy canes, Sweethearts, and NECCO Wafers will make Spangler a stronger company within the global confectionery market and will be a catalyst for growth,” said Spangler Chairman and CEO Kirk Vashaw. “Our new brands and our campus expansion will have direct benefits to our consumers, customers, suppliers, employees and the communities where we do business.”
Located next door to the Spangler campus, the former NEO facilities were originally owned and operated by the ARO Corporation, equipment manufacturers. At one point, ARO employed more than 1,000 people in the Bryan facilities. In 1985, the property was purchased by Todd Shipbuilding Corporation, and in December 1989 was sold to the Ingersoll-Rand Corporation. Ingersoll-Rand sold the facility to NEO in 2004 and NEO continued as a supplier until ceasing manufacturing in 2010.
In recent years, the campus has provided space for local businesses including the Activate Health Clinic, Gendron, and Alex Products. Among the planned renovations is an expansion of the Activate clinic, which provides private family healthcare services to employees of Spangler and three other local business entities. Gendron also will continue to operate in the facility.
Work on the new campus will be continuing for some time, according to Mr. Vashaw. “Significant renovations have to happen at New Era to bring it up to food grade standards.”
Equally exciting for the company is the addition of Sweethearts and Necco Wafers to the Spangler family of brands.
“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point, and we want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market. We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season, and hope to reintroduce Necco Wafers to the marketplace in 2019.”
“Sweethearts and Necco Wafers are iconic brands with rich hundred-year-plus histories. These are perfect additions to our portfolio of traditional candies,” Vashaw added. “We are particularly excited about the Sweethearts brand. Many people have memories of sorting through their box of Sweethearts to find just the right message to share.”
Sweethearts, created in 1901, is one of the original Valentine treats, known for its heart-shaped candies imprinted with messages such as “Be Mine”, “Miss You”, and “Love Me”. Through the years Sweethearts has reflected cultural changes through updated and retired sayings such as “Call me”, “Fax me”, “Text me”, and “Tweet Me”.
Necco Wafers date back to 1847, when Oliver Chase, an English immigrant, invented a lozenge-cutting machine with which he produced the wafers. They were a popular treat for soldiers during the Civil War, and later for World War II soldiers overseas because the wafers were easy to transport and did not melt.
In addition to Sweethearts and Necco Wafers, Spangler also will manufacture Canada Mints, a lesser known but still popular brand that is made on the same equipment.
Spangler Candy Company has been family owned and operated in Bryan, OH since 1906. It is one of the largest lollipop producers in the world with its Dum-Dums® brand, and the only major candy cane producer in the United States. Other products include Saf-T-Pops® and Spangler® Circus Peanuts.