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Nassau Candy plans $4.3M expansion in Hicksville

An employee processes jelly roll candy inside the

An employee processes jelly roll candy inside the Nassau Candy factory in Hicksville, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The candymaker and distributor is expanding. Credit: Steve Pfost

A candy manufacturer is planning a $4.3 million expansion of one of its five buildings in Hicksville.

Nassau Candy Distributors Inc. wants to add 26,200 square feet to its headquarters and warehouse at 300 Duffy Ave.

The company makes chocolate-covered raisins and pretzels, fudge, fruit slices, roasted nuts and hand-dipped chocolate cherries, among other confections.

Its customers are chain stores, cruise ships, supermarkets and independent retailers.

"We need more space for distribution," said Les Stier, who purchased the business in 1984 with his brother-in-law Barry Rosenbaum.

"We're responding to growth in our specialty-foods business as well as demand for our confection products" across the country, Stier said.

Last night, Nassau Candy won a second round of tax breaks from Nassau County in return for adding 20 people to its payroll of 328 by 2019.

Records show that employees earn, on average, $22 per hour, excluding medical and retirement benefits.

The county's Industrial Development Agency granted a sales-tax exemption of up to $306,187 on the purchase of construction materials and machinery, and up to $36,750 off the mortgage recording tax.

The agency also included the building addition in a 20-year property-tax break given in 2013 when Nassau Candy bought 300 Duffy Ave. The earlier incentive kept the company here; it had considered moving to New Jersey and other states, officials said.

"The fact that they stayed and are expanding here is a great sign of the economic health of this county," IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney said last night.

Nassau Candy makes and sells candy and specialty foods to hundreds of retailers, including Disney, Target, Zabar's, Whole Foods and Bloomingdale's.

Some items are under the company's own brand names -- Nancy Adams and Sheila's Delights -- while others are sold under the names of Godiva, Lindt and Jelly Belly. More than 15 million pounds of confections are produced by Nassau Candy every year.

Nassau Candy also has operations in Florida, Michigan, California and Texas. It started in 1918 as a retail store on Front Street in Hempstead Village.

Kearney said, "This is an iconic company that has been here for a long, long time."

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