Gourmet Private Brand Chocolate

Yesterday, the Fresno California daily newspaper, The Fresno Bee featured a fascinating article on a couple of local Private Brand chocolate manufacturers and the specialty chocolates they make for some of largest retailers in the country.

Fruit and veggies aside, Fresno companies are busy making a name for themselves in another yummy area: candy. Fresno-based G. Debbas Chocolatier (Go Pure Foods) is now making about 25 different chocolates sold in all 184 Fresh & Easy stores.The Christmas truffles, peppermint bark and other nonseasonal chocolates are sold under the Fresh & Easy brand and made right here in Fresno in a building near the airport. Although it seems like big news for a Fresno company to land a contract that big, this is old hat for the award-winning chocolatier Guy Debbas. The company has been making all Target’s Choxie brand chocolates and Nordstrom’s private label chocolates for a while now. Fresh & Easy released a drool-worthy video about how the chocolates are made.

A California State University, Fresno, student and her mother launched Reedley-based Justina Confections in November. The company sells regular caramels, pecan caramels and orange marshmallow caramels through its website, www.justinaconfections.com. Founder Tiffany Lowe, 23, will graduate from Fresno State this spring. For years, she has helped her mom, Justina Lowe, make caramels using her mother’s recipes. “Friends and family and strangers would continue to ask us where they could buy them, and they couldn’t buy them,” she said. Now, they can. The caramels are made in a commercial kitchen inside the Lowe family grocery store, the Town & Country Market in Reedley. Remember Flicks? The nostalgic candy that a local family revived a few years back has added a dark chocolate flavor. The company added the flavor in response to customer demand, said office manager Debby Maldonado. The candies are available at Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, Cost Plus World Market, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Save Mart and CVS.

Source: The Fresno Bee

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.