St. Paul's Pearson's Candy Co. sold

8:41 PM, Aug 22, 2011   |    comments
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GREENWICH, Conn. - A century-old St. Paul candy-maker has been sold to an east coast company.

Pearson Candy Company, makers of the Salted Nut Roll, Nut Goodie, Mint Patties and the Pearson's Bun, was purchased by Brynwood Partners VI of Greenwich, Conn., it was announced Monday.

Terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed. It is not clear if operations will be moved or if jobs will be impacted.

"Having owned and operated Pearson since 1985, I am confident that I am leaving the company in good hands with Brynwood VI," longtime Pearson's owner Larry Hassler said in a statement. "Given Brynwood Partners' experience in the food space, I am confident that Brynwood VI will have great success in enhancing the value of the organization.

Hassler has owned Pearson's since 1985, and has been with the company for 30 years. He just turned 65, and felt like he had taken the candy maker as far as he could without acquiring other interests, or being acquired by another company like Brynwood VI.

He is ready for the next phase of his life, but Hassler says he will miss Pearson's.

"It's been a blast, absolutely incredible."

Hassler tells KARE 11 he has discreetly conducting a search for a potential buyer for the past year, and says Brynwood VI is a great match. He says they know the industry, are well connected, and understand the history of the Pearson's brand.

"Pearson is an iconic confectionery business and is a terrific addition to Brynwood VI's portfolio," said Henk Hartong III, the new chairman of the Pearson Candy Company and Senior Managing Partner at Brynwood Partners. "We are grateful to have had the chance to work with Larry Hassler and look forward to continuing to grow the great company that he has built."

Pearson's Candy Company was founded in 1909 by P. Edward Pearson and his two brothers. The Nut Goodie Bar debuted in 1912 and the Salted Nut Roll was introduced in 1933. Pearson's Candy Company has been operating at its current West Seventh Street location since 1959 after moving from downtown St. Paul.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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