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MN: Abdallah Candies Planning $12.2M Expansion in Apple Valley

3 Dec, 2015


Abdallah Candies, a fourth-generation, family-owned gourmet candy maker in Burnsville, announced plans for a $12.2 million expansion in Apple Valley.

The business, which began in 1909 in south Minneapolis, plans to build a 70,000-square-foot candy-manufacturing facility in Phase 1 of its expansion and another 50,000 to 70,000 square feet later. Abdallah will add 17 new jobs.

With customers located throughout the country, the company had location options outside of Minnesota. The company will continue using its current facility on County Road 42 in Burnsville but is moving to the new site at Johnny Cake Ridge Road and 147th Street W. in Apple Valley because it needs more space for its manufacturing operations.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is assisting the expansion with a $170,000 grant from the Job Creation Fund. The grant is contingent on the company meeting its hiring and investment commitments.

“Abdallah is a nationally known candy maker that has been a fixture in the Twin Cities for more than 100 years,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re thrilled that the company is making a significant investment that will keep the business growing in Minnesota.”

Partnering with DEED and Abdallah, the Apple Valley Economic Development Authority provided site development support in the amount of $736,000 through formation of a tax increment district. The city welcomes Abdallah’s expansion plans and job creation, having approved the site development plans on Aug. 27.

Albert Abdallah, a native of Lebanon, and his Swedish wife Helen Trovall opened the business in Minneapolis in 1909 as the Calhoun Candy Depot. In addition to candy, the young couple sold ice cream, cut flowers, cigars and fruit from their business at Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue. The business, renamed the Abdallah Candy Co. in 1916, became a popular place for people to meet and socialize during the Prohibition era, when taverns and other drinking establishments were closed.

Despite going bankrupt during the Great Depression, rationing during World War II and a devastating and fiery explosion that destroyed the business in 1965, Abdallah has survived for more than a century by sticking with traditional recipes and intricate small-batch candy-making techniques. Owners Karen and Steve Hegedus are the fourth generation of the family to run the business.

The Job Creation Fund is a pay-for-performance program that provides funding to businesses after they meet certain criteria, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments. Under the program, businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance.

Since the Job Creation Fund was launched in January 2014, DEED has awarded $29.44 million for 59 business expansion projects in Minnesota. Companies have committed to creating 3,754 full-time jobs and investing $593.5 million to expand.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at the DEED website (http://mn.gov/deed) or go to our Twitter account (http://twitter.com/mndeed).

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