CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (June 4, 2020) –Sanders Candy announces a new strategy for its retail stores in Michigan to adapt to new forms of consumer demand that have accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis. As part of this strategy and the company’s focus on innovation, Sanders will invest in the stores at the Sanders factory on Hall Road in Clinton Township and in Downtown Rochester. These will become the company’s only retail locations and will feature all the favorite Sanders products. Adjacent to and visible from the Clinton Township store, in Sanders’ manufacturing facility, the company is building an Innovation Center, which will provide customers at the two retail stores the chance to sample new candies and other desserts, as they are developed by Sanders candymakers, before they are offered to retail chains nationwide. The company also plans to resume tours of the Clinton Township manufacturing facility, a longtime favorite local attraction. These stores will re-open on Tuesday June 9th. As part of this direction, Sanders company-owned stores in Grosse Pointe, Livonia (Laurel Park Place), Novi (Twelve Oaks Mall) and St. Clair Shores will not re-open following the lifting of Michigan’s “Stay At Home” order. This will affect 15 full-time employees and 20 part-time employees. The company is working to place as many of these employees as possible into open positions at the two stores that will re-open or at its manufacturing or distribution centers. Stores in Wyandotte and on Mackinac Island, which are owned and operated by licensees, are not affected by these moves and will continue in operation. “Because of the strong demand for Sanders products online, nationally and locally, in recent months, we realized that we have needed to accelerate a new retail strategy,” explained Jen Bauer, Chief Marketing Officer. “With specialty retail closed since March in Michigan, we kept up with high demand via grocery and warehouse retailers and direct to consumer, via our website. We saw the ways consumers most want to enjoy Sanders. Our two-location retail approach will allow Metro Detroiters to help shape the future of the brand, while the company adjusts to the trends that shape our business.” The company also plans to offer home delivery of its products to Metro Detroit customers via online food takeout apps. “Sanders retail locations have been a part of Metro Detroit life for generations. We appreciate the community’s understanding of our new reality and the contributions of the staff who created a positive experience for our customers for many years. We look forward to our Clinton Township and Rochester locations becoming destinations for fans of our brand and those who are looking for new ways to enjoy Sanders,” said Bill Elam, Sanders President. Sanders was founded in 1875 when Fred Sanders Schmidt opened his first Sanders candy shop in Detroit. “The founding of Sanders and subsequent success was built on innovation and keeping up with what customers want. We keep that history in mind as we make decisions about the future of this company and the brand that our customers cherish,” added Bauer.
Sanders will continue to operate and serve customers through its website, sanderscandy.com. We know many customers celebrate Easter with Sanders confections and may do so with friends and family from a distance this year. In order to best support our customers, we’ve reduced Free Shipping minimums on orders placed through Easter.
We will continue to work within government provided guidelines to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work. Please visit sanderscandy.com to place online orders and find the latest updates on our store closures.
Sanders operates under a very stringent Food Safety/Quality System and FDA surveillance. Although at this time, the FDA does not have evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging, we have elevated awareness among the factory personnel on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) and hygiene practices as preventive measures. We are also educating team members on the Covid-19 Virus and sharing information as it becomes available from Center for Disease Control. Currently, Sanders has not experienced any supply issues with raw materials for our products nor has our labor force been affected. We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.
Two of Detroit's most iconic brands complete a sweet (and salty) merger
Snacking Detroit: Beloved Local Brands Kar’s Nuts and Sanders Merge
Madison Heights, Mich., October 24, 2018 – KNPC Holdco, LLC (“Kar’s Nuts”), a leading manufacturer of nut and trail mix snacks sold under the Kar’s® and Second Nature® brands, announced today the completion of its merger with Morley Candy Makers, LLC (“Sanders”), a maker of premium confectionary products sold under the Sanders Fine Chocolatiers® brand.
The merger brings together two iconic brands with deep roots in the Detroit area. Kar’s Nuts was founded in Detroit in 1933 by Sue Kar, who roasted peanuts in her home to sell outside nearby Navin Field, which later became Tiger Stadium. Similarly, Sanders was founded in 1875 when Fred Sanders Schmidt opened his first Sanders candy shop in Detroit.
The combination of Kar’s Nuts and Sanders creates a leading platform within the snacking industry, offering a range of premium trail mix, nuts and confectionary products across three brands. The merger will provide Sanders with expanded national distribution opportunities and offer Kar’s Nuts additional production and product innovation capabilities. Sanders will operate as its own division within the combined company, and the workforces of both companies will remain in place.
Sanders CEO Brian Jefferson said, “As we explored strategic opportunities for Sanders®, it was critical to identify a partner who truly understood and valued our brand and our employees. We are extremely excited about this merger as we feel confident that it will preserve cherished Sanders products, bring a new level of creativity to our offerings that is sure to delight customers, and continue to take care of our employees.”
Kar’s Nuts’ acquisition of Sanders represents its first acquisition following the investment in Kar’s Nuts in March 2017 by an affiliate of Palladium Equity Partners, LLC (along with its affiliates, “Palladium”), a middle market private equity firm with approximately $2.7 billion in assets under management. Palladium and other Kar’s Nuts equity holders made follow-on investments to support the acquisition and the future growth of the combined company.
“Sanders is a successful company with a legacy of customer loyalty and quality products. As we consistently evaluate growth opportunities, this merger is ideal for Kar’s Nuts as we expand our reach in the snacking industry,” commented Kar’s Nuts President Nick Nicolay. “We look forward to the Sanders family joining the Kar’s Nuts family and continuing to offer products that consumers across the country appreciate and enjoy.”
Nick Nicolay will serve as CEO of the combined company which will be headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan. Brian Jefferson will remain in place through the transition with plans to retire once the two companies are fully integrated.
KPMG Corporate Finance LLC served as financial advisor to Sanders on the transaction. Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. served as Sanders’ legal advisor. Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. served as legal advisor to Kar’s Nuts.
About Kar’s Nuts
Kar’s Nuts has been changing the way people snack for nearly a century. Since it was founded by Sue Kar in 1933 who sold home-roasted peanuts outside Tiger Stadium in Detroit, the company’s brands, Kar’s® and Second Nature®, have become two of the best-selling trail mix brands in the country including the #1 selling Kar’s Sweet ‘n Salty Mix. The products are available nearly anywhere snacks are sold across the United States. Visit www.karsnuts.com or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter at @KarsNuts.
Sanders was founded in 1875 when Fred Sanders Schmidt opened his first Sanders candy shop in Detroit. Today, Sanders has grown into a nationally recognized producer of premium confections, artisanal chocolates, baked goods, dessert toppings and ice cream. Sanders® products are currently sold in leading retailers nationally and online at sanderscandy.com. It also operates nine Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes, with seven locations in Metro Detroit and two on Mackinac Island. Follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @SandersCandy.
Sanders steps into the national spotlight with asuccessful debut on QVC
Sanders makes a successful first appearance on QVC
Clinton Township, Mich., October 17, 2018 – Sanders announced today that it has already been invited back to QVC for a second appearance only days after making its debut on the shopping network.
On Sunday, October 14th, Sanders products were first featured on QVC's "In the Kitchen with David" program. After achieving an impressive amount of sales, the candy maker was invited to return to QVC for an additional appearance this Thursday, October 18th.
“We are very excited for our products to receive this national spotlight,” said Nakia Mills, spokesperson for Sanders Candy. “We have fans all over the country who just rediscovered our brand after seeing our product on QVC.”
Shoppers can order the featured Sanders Caramel Mini Bites at qvc.com at a price of $24.82 per carton while inventory lasts. The in the 3.75oz/8-count cartons contain two resealable bags of four different flavors: Milk Chocolate Crunchy Peanut Butter Caramel, Milk Chocolate Cherry Almond Caramel, Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel.
Sanders also offers its individual packages of its caramel mini bites, along with its other products for mail order on its own website, sanderscandy.com.
PR Contact:Nakia Mills
Director of eCommerce & Public Relations
About Sanders:Sanders is a classic national brand featuring premium chocolates, dessert toppings and baked goods using original recipes dating as far back as 1875. Started by Fred Sanders in Detroit, Michigan, the brand is now owned by Morley Candy Makers, Inc., with its own rich history dating back to 1919. Sanders products can be found in multiple retailers across the United States, at Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppes in Michigan, or online at www.sanderscandy.com.