The production of Bit-O-Honey comes to Bryan; Renewed union contract | Local News
A new campus, a new brand, an act of Congress and an approved union contract paved the way for more candy production and ultimately new jobs for Spangler Candy Company in Bryan next year.
Equipment to make Bit-O-Honey, the candy brand Spangler bought in November, is expected to be moved in the first half of 2022 from its current home in St. Paul, Minnesota, to the Spangler West Campus, formerly known as the New Era name. Ohio.
“There is a lot of work to be done before Bit-O-Honey can officially move to Bryan,” said Kirk Vashaw, CEO of Spangler. “Nonetheless, we are very excited to start the process.
“With the many challenges we have all faced over the past year, we are thrilled with this opportunity to add more jobs to Bryan and boost our local economy,” added Vashaw. The company plans to add around 40 new jobs for the Bit-O-Honey operation.
Spangler Teamsters Local 20 employees have also expressed support for Bit-O-Honey’s move to Bryan through the ratification of a new contractual agreement through February 2025 that covers the West Campus facility.
“Spangler Candy Company is very pleased to have entered into this agreement with Teamsters Local 20,” said Bill Martin, President of Spangler. “This new contract puts in place policies and procedures as well as salaries and benefits to allow a smooth transition as we integrate the new Bit-O-Honey operation.”
“Teamsters Local 20 has a long-standing relationship with Spangler Candy Company,” said Mark Schmiehausen, President of Teamsters Local 20. “We got a fair deal for our members by discussing and working on key issues, many of them are important to the transfer from Bit-O-Honey to Bryan. ” Teamsters Local 20 has represented the production, maintenance, warehouse and sanitation employees of Spangler since 1959.
Over the next year, Spangler will be making major renovations to modernize and bring the buildings at the Spangler West Campus up to production-ready, food-grade standards.
Bit-O-Honey first appeared in 1924 – the same year as Spangler’s iconic Dum-Dum suckers – made by the Schutter-Johnson Company of Chicago. Bit-O-Honey is known for its soft, toffee texture and real ingredients of toasted almonds and honey.
Bit-O-Honey underwent various ownership changes between 1969 and 1983 when it was placed under the umbrella of the Nestlé company. In 2013, Nestlé sold Bit-O-Honey to Pearson’s Candy Company of Saint Paul, Minnesota, which sold the brand to Spangler last November.
The desirability of moving Bit-O-Honey to Bryan was also advanced by the resolution of the multi-employer pension plan crisis, which was addressed under the government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), approved by Congress in March.
“The multi-employer pension crisis has been a barrier to any expansion at Spangler for several years,” said Martin. “Bit-O-Honey’s move will greatly help our employees, our business and our community. “
Spangler Candy Company has been family owned and operated in Bryan since 1906. Under its flagship product Dum-Dums, it is one of the largest producers of lollipops in the world and the only major producer of sugarcane in the United States. Other products include Saf-T-Pops, Spangler Circus Peanuts, Sweethearts, Necco Wafers and Canada Mints.