Alpine Confections, Inc. Business Information, Profile, and History
Alpine, Utah 84004
History of Alpine Confections, Inc.
Alpine Confections, Inc. owns a number of candy companies, including Maxfield Candy Company, Kencraft, Inc., and Harry London Candies Inc. The Fanny Farmer and Fannie May brands were acquired from bankrupt Archibald Candy Corporation in 2004. Alpine also produces confections under license for Hallmark and Mrs. Fields'. Canadian brands include Dolce d'Or and Botticelli, produced at the Dynamic Chocolates plant in Delta, British Columbia.
Robert B. Murray and his son, R. Taz Murray, acquired Salt Lake City's Maxfield Candy Co. in August 1993 for $1.8 million. Bob Murray had become a business professor at Brigham Young University after flying jets in the Korean War.
Maxfield was known for its boxed chocolates and chocolate-enrobed cream sticks. It had been formed in 1947 by A. Vard Maxfield. His son, Neal, was president of the company when it was sold to the Murrays.
Taz Murray then became business partners with a former classmate at Harvard Business School, David Taiclet. (After getting their MBAs, they had worked for a time at Cargill and Deloitte & Touche, respectively.) The expanded partnership acquired another Utah confectioner, Kencraft, Inc., in 1994.
Kencraft had been founded in 1969 by Ken and Marlene Matheson of Salt Lake City. Their first products were hollow sugar Easter eggs with figures inside. The Mathesons moved to Utah County in 1972.
Kencraft's big break came when a New York buyer noticed the novelty candies at a Chicago trade show. The operation moved into a 900-square-foot building at the Alpine Valley Lumber Co. in the town of Alpine. This became Kencraft's permanent home and the site of a 90,000-square-foot factory.
A pair of "Peppermint Place" retail outlets, one adjacent to the plant, opened in 1991. By 1993, the company was making 800 different products, including lollipops, chocolate truffles, candy canes, and confections designed to celebrate a number of holidays. Many of the items were adorned with hand-formed figures and branded with names such as Candy Climbers, Puppet Pals, and Bubble Gum Buddies. Kencraft employed 215 people, many of them "craftsy" Mormon women who decorated the candies.
Under new management, Taiclet told Candy Industry, employment became less seasonal for Kencraft's production workers as the company built up inventory. They also added incentives for productivity. The Utah Department of Workforce Services cited Kencraft as a "Top Family Friendly Company."
Late 1990s Licensing
In the late 1990s, Maxfield Candy updated its logo and packaging for its own brand, All American Chocolates. A new boxed chocolate line aimed at the Hispanic market called "
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