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Long Island candy maker plans $5 million expansion

An employee pours English toffee inside the Nassau

An employee pours English toffee inside the Nassau Candy factory in Hicksville. The candy maker and distributor is expanding. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

A Long Island manufacturer of chocolate-covered raisins and cherries, fruit slices, malt balls and other confections is planning its third building expansion since 2015.

Nassau Candy Distributors Inc. wants to add 20,000 square feet to its headquarters and factory in Hicksville. The $5 million project received tax breaks from Nassau County last week.

The county's Industrial Development Agency agreed unanimously to include the candy company’s proposed addition to 300 Duffy Ave. in a 20-year deal on property taxes.

That deal was first granted in 2013 to keep Nassau Candy in the county when it considered moving out of state. The company has five buildings in Hicksville and operations in California, Florida, Michigan and Texas.

Nassau Candy employs about 560 people in Hicksville, according to IDA records. In return for the additional tax breaks, the company promised Thursday to increase its job commitment from 363 to 400 in the county. The company had 310 employees when it first sought the county’s help six years ago, records show.

Nassau Candy workers earn, on average, $38,375 per year, according to records.

Daniel P. Deegan, the company’s real estate attorney, said it’s “one of the largest specialty candy companies in the country.”

Besides candy, the company sells imported gourmet food and creates promotional products.

The 20,000-square-foot building expansion is the third backed by the IDA. In addition to the property-tax break, Nassau Candy was granted a sales-tax exemption of up to $236,224 on the purchase of construction materials and equipment for the proposed addition, and $222,187 off the mortgage recording tax.

IDA chairman Richard Kessel said: “We want this company to grow. It provides good job opportunities.”

Nassau Candy started in 1918 as a retail store on Front Street in Hempstead Village. In 1984, the candy and tobacco distributor was purchased by CEO Les Stier and his brother-in-law Barry Rosenbaum.

The pair expanded manufacturing operations and stopped selling tobacco products. More recently, their children — Lance, Garrett, Travis and Spencer Stier and Jordan Rosenbaum — have joined the company.

Nassau Candy has purchased 14 businesses in recent years, including the 2017 purchase of Lanco Corp., a maker of chocolates, mints and other promotional items in Ronkonoma. Nassau Candy has 1,000 employees nationwide.

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