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Abdallah Candies plans $12.2 million expansion in Apple Valley

ST. PAUL - Abdallah Candies, a fourth-generation, family-owned gourmet candy maker in Burnsville, announced plans Thursday for a $12.2 million expansion in the neighboring suburb of Apple Valley.

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ST. PAUL – Abdallah Candies, a fourth-generation, family-owned gourmet candy maker in Burnsville, announced plans Thursday for a $12.2 million expansion in the neighboring suburb of Apple Valley.

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

With customers throughout the country, the company had looked at building outside of Minnesota. The company will continue using its current facility on County Road 42 in Burnsville but is moving to the new site 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.

β€œAbdallah 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. β€œWe’re thrilled that the company is making a significant investment that will keep the business growing in Minnesota.”

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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

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 $29.4 million for 59 business expansion projects in Minnesota.

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