It's been almost a year since the Ferrara Candy Company closed its doors for the last time in Winona.
But there's new life for its former factory, according to the Winona Daily News, after it was bought out by Midwest Co-Pack and will be used to supply the Pet Health People – the company behind LICKS Pill-Free Solutions.
What does this mean? It means the factory will be making candy again – just not for humans. It will supply medicines, supplements and vitamins for cats and dogs, coming in gummy or liquid form to make them more palatable for pets.
Last year 125 factory workers lost their job when the plant closed following a fire, but Midwest Co-Pack will be re-hiring some of those technicians for the new business, with the Winona Post reporting a dozen have already been taken on and more are going to follow.
Midwest Co-Pack CEO Amy Paris told the newspaper they'd actually planned to use the Ferrara factory for its gummy supplements before it closed down, and is now delighted to be able to leverage the expertise of former Ferrara workers in the city.
"That has been just a huge advantage for me," she told the Rochester Post Bulletin. "They know how to produce these gummys better than me."
LICKS products are sold exclusively at PetSmart stores, or can be ordered online.
The Ferrara company, which makes Lemonheads, RedHots and Trolli candy, moved production to Illinois following last year's fire, WDAY reported.