- Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A former candy factory in Winona soon will be producing gummi and gel supplements for pets.

Midwest Co-Pack purchased the former Ferrara Candy Company building to use as the primary supplier of The Pet Health People. The company is hoping to use the space to make gummi vitamins for dogs, among other products.

Amy Paris, CEO of Midwest Co-Pack and The Pet Health People, said in a statement that the companies will work to grow upon previous success.

“My desire to vertically align (Pet Health People’s) supply chain, from production to fulfillment, has been our goal since inception, but it was important to find the right fit for our business,” Paris said. “The expertise of the staff at Midwest Co-Pack is unparalleled; I have no doubt that their input will not only support my already established business, but ensure that it continues to thrive.”

The company is aiming to hire more than 10 people to start. Officials said they hope to rehire former candy factory employees.

The Ferrara facility closed in spring 2016. Winona Mayor Mark Peterson said the city is lucky to have someone take over the building in a relatively short time.

“All expectations are that this will be a growing company,” Peterson said.

Company officials said they hope to produce tens of thousands of pounds of finished goods daily by adding new machinery, growing the company and using former plant employees, who have an average tenure of 25 years in food manufacturing.

The plant was built in 1940 and operated as a candy factory for several companies before closing.


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