- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

PONCHATOULA, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards helped celebrate the $40 million expansion of Elmer Chocolate’s facility in Ponchatoula.

Elmer Candy Corp. announced the 70,000-square-foot addition to its Ponchatoula facility in 2014. On Thursday, Edwards joined others for a look at the expansion, which includes new production technology to make the company more efficient. Officials say the expansion retained 164 jobs and created 10 new jobs.

Elmer received incentives, including a $550,000 forgivable loan to fund equipment purchases. The facility is now nearly 400,000 square feet in size.

Founded in 1855 in New Orleans as the Miller Candy Corp., Elmer Chocolate produces chocolates, caramels, truffles and holiday treats. Elmer has been in Ponchatoula since 1970.

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