Atlanta, Georgia-based Sophie Mae Candy Co., which was purchased by Georgia Nut Co. last September, opened a retail store a month ago.
David Drehobl, COO of Illinois-based Georgia Nut, said he hopes to open a party room where customers can make their own candy and watch peanut brittle produced in September. If the retail store fares well, Drehobl said he'd like to add stores downtown and in Buckhead.
A recent article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a year ago, Sophie Mae faced extinction, as did its old-fashioned Kits taffy, BB Bats, and SloPokes. The company had been in the Coppedge family for three generations before it was sold in the 1970s. Gilliam Candy Co. acquired the company in 1994, and then sold everything but its Sophie Mae products in 2003. Following Georgia Nut Co.'s purchase of Sophie Mae for $2 million, it increased the company's sales by $2 million.
Now, Drehobl said the company generates revenue close to $5 million annually. He hopes to double this year's sales in three years. Besides installing new equipment for making peanut brittle, the company has been redecorating the building. The packaging also received a face-lift, which will be unveiled next month. Additionally, the company will add a new product in the next year -- chocolate-drizzled peanut brittle.