ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s iconic candy company, Pearson’s, is about to launch a new brand.

Michael Keller, the company’s CEO says 7th Street Confections will launch next year. The brand will allow Pearson’s to introduce new treats, including healthier chocolate.

The brand’s name is a nod to Pearson’s location on 7th street in St. Paul. Pearson’s is 107 years old and home to the Salted Nut Roll and Nut Goodie.

Five years ago, private equity firm, Brynwood Partners, purchased Pearson’s and change has been happening ever since.

“Brynwood’s acquisition of Pearson’s was really the game changer,” says Keller.

Three years ago, Pearson’s bought Bit-O-Honey from the candy giant Nestle. The move helped Pearson’s struggling sales.

Bit-O-Honey at Pearson's. Credit: Jen Young
Bit-O-Honey at Pearson's. Credit: Jen Young

“We’re right around 60 to 70 percent growth in three years,” says Keller. Person’s St. Paul plant now churns out between 400 and 500 million pieces of Bit-O-Honey every year.

Among the other changes for the candy company… new theater box containers and new candy sizes.

“We’ve been around for 107 years, but we’ve only had bite-sized for three,” says Keller. The bite-size movement came in response to consumer demand.

Keller says the changes have created more sales and more jobs. The plant now employs more than 200 people.

“In general, Pearson’s growth trajectory and hopefully our employment base will just continue to steadily grow as we make a difference in the industry and a difference here in St. Paul.”