Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Owner to Bring Clark Bar Production Back to Pennsylvania

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Owner to Bring Clark Bar Production Back to Pennsylvania

Article excerpt

After a nearly 20-year hiatus, production of Pittsburgh's storied Clark Bar is coming home to Pennsylvania.

Boyer Candy Co. in Altoona - maker of the Mallo Cup - has stepped in to save the chocolate-covered crunchy peanut butter bar from extinction by purchasing the rights, recipes and equipment from an unidentified seller, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.

"We're really excited. This is an iconic Pennsylvania candy," said Anthony Forgione, owner of Boyer Candy, which his late father bought in 1984.

Created in Pittsburgh 101 years ago by candy maker David L. Clark, the Clark Bar has been manufactured in Revere, Mass., outside of Boston, since being gobbled up by the New England Confectionery Co. at a Pittsburgh bankruptcy auction in 1999.

The fate of the Clark Bar and other nostalgic candies such as Necco Wafers and Sweethearts conversation hearts were thrown into limbo when Necco declared bankruptcy in April.

"We're really proud to have [the Clark Bar] and are committed to it," Mr. Forgione, 40, said in an interview, declining to reveal the purchase price or the seller, saying the company requested anonymity. "I remember the heartbreak when it left Pittsburgh."

Mr. Forgione said Boyer had been eying the Clark Bar for years. His father made an unsuccessful bid to buy the brand at the bankruptcy auction in 1999.

"One thing we always needed to fill out our lineup was a [candy] bar," he said. "I've been negotiating for [the Clark Bar] for about a year and a half. When Necco went into bankruptcy, it really slowed things down. But we were finally able to bring it home."

Mr. Forgione said he is determined to reinvigorate Clark Bar sales.

"This is a great home for it," he said. "I will have a commitment to this brand that maybe prior owners didn't."

He expects it will be five or six months before new batches of Clark Bars roll off the conveyor belts in Altoona. …

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