South Bend candy factory expanding due to booming business
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It is as if Willy Wonka, is in your own backyard! But in South Bend, it is Claeys! Claeys Candy was established in 1919 by Jerome Claeys. After World War One, he opened up a candy business in a rented garage behind his house on North Blaine Avenue.
Now, one century later, Claeys continues to be not only a staple here in Michiana but nationwide. The founder’s grandson, Gregg Claeys, is the third generation to own the candy business. It is has now expanded into a top distributer. What started originally as a caramel nut bar for 5 cents, has turned into 15 flavors of hard candies, peanut brittle, fudge, the fan-favorite Chocolate Charlies and more!
Now with business booming, Claeys is undergoing a major expansion. The business will be moving to Blackthorne Corporate Park on the near northwest side. The 8-million-dollar expansion gives Claeys an additional production line and is expected to create more jobs in the community.
After 40 years at its Taylor street location, Gregg Claeys explains a new factory is necessary to meet the candy’s spiking demands.
“It is quite amazing, it really is because I can remember coming into the business and in this warehouse that we built in 1981 and walking into it and it was totally empty and thinking how am I going to pay for this and increase sales, and here we are. 40 years later, but we are out of space and we are doing it again. It is exciting,” says Claeys.
For further information about Claeys, visit here.