Altoona, PA — In something of a homecoming, Boyer Candy Co., Inc. has bought the rights, recipes and equipment for Clark Bars, and is bringing production of the 101-year-old brand back to the Pittsburgh area, where it was first created, according to reports from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The brand went up for auction following the New England Confectionery Co. (NECCO) filing for bankruptcy in April. Boyer purchased the brand from an undisclosed seller.
Boyer Owner Anthony Forgione tells Candy & Snack TODAY that the company’s current facility is large enough to accommodate the equipment necessary to produce Clark Bars, and the candymaker will be adding employees to help handle production. He adds it will be five to six months before the first batch of Clark Bars are made in Altoona.
“The best thing we can do is return Clark Bar to its roots and let the brand get its legs under it again,” Forgione says. “This brand has gone through a number of owners and it has not really had time in any of their operations to get its legs under it and grow. Boyer Candy is the perfect place for it to come and reestablish itself again as one of the best candy bars.”
He adds the brand is a perfect fit for the company’s portfolio, which includes Mallo Cups, Smoothie butterscotch peanut butter cups and Jimmie Stix, milk chocolate and peanut butter covered pretzels, as it did not include a candy bar.
“We needed a traditional candy bar to complete our line up,” Forgione tells Candy & Snack TODAY. “We were experimenting and developing one, but during that process this opportunity presented itself.”
The bars were developed by David L. Clark in Pittsburgh, and brand was sold to NECCO through a bankruptcy auction in 1999. Forgione says his late father made a move to buy the brand at that time, and the company has been eyeing the candy bars since.
Forgione says Boyer won’t be changing the Clark Bar recipe. “If anything, we’re going to be very traditional with it. This is a product that has been around for 101 years, and I think it has a second act in it that will really surprise people,” he says, adding with a laugh: “Well at 101, maybe it is a third act, but we are really excited about it.”
With Clark Bars finding a new home, and NECCO Wafers and Sweethearts being in control of the undisclosed buyer, Skybar, Mighty Malt Milk Balls and Haviland thin mints are the only NECCO brands that have yet to find a new buyer since the company closed. Those brands and equipment are slated to be sold at public auction at NECCO’s Revere, MA, plant on September 26 and 27 by Union Confectionery Machinery Co.