Wednesday, February 10, 2010

They're Baaack

Sanders is coming back, after all.

No, Lions fans, I don't mean Barry.

Sanders Candy is being reanimated, thanks to the help of Morley Brands.

"Fundraising really took a hit in the 1980s and '90s," Morley Brands President Ron Rapson tells CNNMoney.com about the fetish schools, Boy Scout troops, and other organizations had for hawking Morley candies to beleaguered friends and relatives. "It got to the point where it wasn't really a money maker. So we decided to go back to what we did best---making chocolates.

"And we hooked up with another great company---Sanders," Rapson adds.

Fred Sanders' company hit the market in Detroit in 1875, offering everything from candy to milk shakes to ice cream. In its heyday---from the 1950s through the '70s, you could hardly drive more than a few miles in metro Detroit without running into a joint that sold Sanders products, or that had a genuine soda jerk emphasizing Sanders goodies.

But about 20 years ago, Sanders started falling off the map.

That's about to change.



Rapson now also holds the title of President of Sanders Candy, as Morley decided to take over the brand. And they haven't taken that responsibility lightly, according to Brian Jefferson, Majority Partner of Sanders Candy.

"We looked at all the different logos Sanders has had over the past 130-plus years," Jefferson says. "I believe we came up with nine different ones. And we picked one from the 1920s that we feel best captures the vision that Fred Sanders had."

When even the logo is selected carefully, you know that this isn't the typical buying out of another company.

"It's a labor of love," Jefferson says. "We have a sense of responsibility, not only to our workers, but to the community, in bringing back this brand."

For those worried that Morley will take the Sanders product and brand and run roughshod over it, fret not, according to Rapson.

"You have to be careful. You want to keep these old brands going, but you have to tweak them and continuously improve them so that you can bring them to new markets and new customers," Rapson says.

"Because you want the new customers to experience what we have enjoyed and experienced in Detroit for all these decades."

I'll eat to that.


For more info about Sanders candy, visit www.sanderscandy.com

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