A longtime grocery executive and his wife have bought the assets of Spokane candy maker Halletts Chocolate & Treat Factory, and plan to expand the business both here and into other Pacific Northwest markets.
Charly and Sandy Owen bought the Halletts assets earlier this month from owners Joel Hallett and Jennifer English, who are retiring after 23 years in the business, says Ned Wendle, the Spokane business broker who arranged the sale. Terms of the transaction werent disclosed.
Charly Owen had worked for 15 years as a store manager for Spokane-based Rosauers Supermarkets Inc., and later owned two convenience stores here and a truck stop and auto-travel plaza in Coeur dAlene. He says he and his wife bought the Halletts assets through a new company called TUDU Inc., which now does business under the name Halletts Chocolate Factory.
Halletts, which employs 10 people, operates a production plant and retail facility at 1419 E. Holyoke on the North Side, and a retail store at 2525 E. 29th in the Lincoln Heights shopping district, both of which were included in the sale. It sells its products at those two locations as well as via its Web site and through wholesale accounts throughout the Pacific Northwest and into the Midwest, says Charly Owen. Halletts employees were retained by TUDU following the sale.
Owen says he and his wife dont plan to make significant changes to the operation, but do plan over the next two years to expand the business into other Pacific Northwest metropolitan areas and perhaps add another retail location or two in the Spokane-Coeur dAlene area.
Were going to keep using the same quality of ingredients and the same time-tested recipes Halletts has used since its start, Owen says.
Halletts produces about 150 different confectionary items, ranging from handmade chocolates and truffles to peanut-butter crunch and almond toffee crunch, the latter two of which were the companys first candies.Owen declines to disclose the companys revenues.
The companys roots date back to the mid-1970s, when Hallett and his brother, Tom, started Halletts Farms here. It grew strawberries and raspberries and sold gift packs plus other food and confectionary items, some of which they made at a kitchen in Liberty Lake. The brothers later split up the operation, with Tom taking the gift-pack business and Joel taking the candy operation. Joel Hallett formed Halletts Chocolate & Treat Factory in 1984. Tom Hallett still operates Halletts Market & Caf in the Valley.
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