Pearson Candy Co., which has been making candy for more than 100 years, is expanding its St. Paul, Minnesota, manufacturing center, adding production of the legendary Bit-O-Honey candy bar and creating at least 40 jobs in the region.
Company officials recently celebrated the first Bit-O-Honey candy ever made at its iconic factory on West Seventh Street, after moving production from another manufacturing facility in Illinois. The Bit-O-Honey brand, which dates back to 1924, was acquired from Nestle USA last year.
Approximately 190 people are now employed at the St. Paul candy factory, which also manufactures brands such as Salted Nut Roll, Nut Goodie, Mint Pattie and Bun Bar. To accommodate the Bit-O-Honey line, the candy maker is adding additional positions to its workforce, ranging from cooks to production assemblers and maintenance mechanics.
To help Pearson’s offset the cost of moving equipment, expanding its production line and other related expenses, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded the company a $200,000 forgivable loan from its Minnesota Investment Fund. The company won’t have to pay back the loan, provided it creates 40 jobs paying $13 an hour by April 2016.
“Pearson’s is a wonderful Minnesota company whose Nut Goodies, Salted Nut Rolls and other iconic brands have been satisfying the consumer sweet tooth for generations,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re happy to help the company expand and to continue a great Minnesota tradition.”
“Companies like Pearson’s continue to add to the vitality of St. Paul through the creation of new jobs and products,” added St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “The company, much like the city, started with a few ambitious minds, and they have thrived, excelled and pushed new boundaries. I’m proud that Pearson’s continues to call St. Paul home and am excited to see the company expand here.”