ST. MARYS – Smith Candy is in the process of a corporate expansion that will include a brand new manufacturing center that is in early construction on the corner of Fairview and Stadium Drives.
What was once Susan Kay Candies, officially founded in 1952 on 33rd Street in Parkersburg and owned by Howard and Vera Holcomb, was purchased 23 years ago by Mike and Julie Smith, who relocated the business to the former Western Auto Building on the corner of Second and main street in St Marys.
“We wanted to bring the store closer to home” Mike Smith recalled: “Not only for economic reasons, but also to include the shop as a new feature in our own community.”
The St. Marys location provided the Smiths with new opportunities and helped unite the business with local residents. This opened the doors for the couple to start direct sales to the public and expand their offering. The then new facility also provided space where they could give tours and the public could watch them making the candy and interact with them as it was being made.
After settling in St. Marys, the company grew from the Ohio River to Puget Sound with hundreds of vendors after being featured in a Seattle food show. Smith said the biggest seller of their candy is the Tamarack near Beckley along the West Virginia Turnpike.
“You are a good account for us”, he said. “We are currently and have been the provider with the highest volume there for some time. It’s affordable and colorful and luckily we’re right outside where all the groceries are.”
The business never stopped growing and with so much success the Smiths decided to keep expanding and are doing so “anticipating the positive impact the manufacturing center will have on the community,” in terms of job creation in the region and them “Hoping for an economic upswing that will be generated by new sales.”
The construction work for the production center started at the end of September and is progressing quite quickly.
“We hope to be ready before the new year and are truly grateful that our sweets remain a staple of this region and have grown as much as they have. We love the joy our candies bring to those who enjoy them.” he said.
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