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Hammond’s Brands to Close Old Dominion Peanut Company Plant

Old Dominion Peanut Company is closing its manufacturing facility in Norfolk, Virginia. As a result of a six-month analysis of the company’s current operations and future needs of its customers, the decision comes in the wake of the neighborhood in transition from manufacturing and warehousing, to retail and upscale residential apartments, higher operating costs, and the lack of efficiencies operating out of multiple buildings.

“Business decisions that directly impact our employees are extremely difficult,” said Andrew Schuman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hammond’s Brands. “Old Dominion has operated in Norfolk for over 100 years, and we have employees that have been with us for nearly 40 years. The plant closure does not reflect the end of the Old Dominion Peanut Company;  rather it marks the beginning of the next chapter of our business operations for long-term health.”

The closing is expected to be completed by early summer of this year. Hammond’s Brands, owner of Old Dominion Peanut Company will relocate part of the ODP operations to its headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and transfer some of the production of its products to a third party under a long-term co-manufacturing agreement.

“This is a company restructuring initiative that will allow the company to intensify product scope and drive future profitability to our core businesses. Our response to this unfortunate solution is that we must combine a commitment to long-term investments in innovation and manufacturing. We believe this closure is crucial to our ability to increase efficiency and reduce the company’s cost structure. Today’s news will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy and drive long-term change, all to further Hammond’s success,” said Schuman.

The Norfolk facility currently employs approximately 70 wage and salaried employees and produces products such as peanut brittles, nut candies, and chocolate covered nuts. Recognizing that the ODP facility has been a significant part of the local economy in Norfolk, Hammond’s is enlisting the aid of the Virginia Employment Commission and communities to allow workers the maximum access to public services and ensure a seamless transition for its employees.

Schuman added, “I am overwhelmingly appreciative of the contributions each of our employees have made to our company, and am sorry we have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to continue operations in Norfolk. Norfolk remains a wonderful place to do business and we have greatly respected the many services over the years provided by the city. We wish nothing but the best for the Norfolk and Hampton Roads communities.”

Genesee Candy Land Adds Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookie to Popular Lineup

Genesee Candy Land, an experienced wholesale manufacturer of specialty snacks, today announced the addition of a fourth cookie to its popular line of decadent jumbo cookies. The new cookie is a chocolate chip cookie with Applewood- smoked bacon bits mixed into the dough.

Starting with locally-sourced chocolate chip cookie dough with bacon bits mixed in, the cookie is then dipped in dark chocolate to coat the back of the cookie. The result is a savory yet decadent treat. In honor of the upcoming National Bacon Day on December 30, 2017, the new cookie is now available at convenience store retailers and online.

Founded in 1997, the purpose of this unofficial holiday is to celebrate that tasty morsel of cured pork belly that is commonly known today as bacon. It’s a great day to enjoy bacon as a snack, with one of your meals for that day or even incorporate it into a tasty dessert. Giving and receiving gifts of bacon is also recommended.  After all, everything goes better with bacon. Celebrants are encouraged to use the hashtag #BaconDay to post reflections on social media.

Genesee Candy Land owner Lorri Alden agrees with this sentiment, “Our signature chocolate-covered bacon has been very successful – customers consistently request it, so we’re confident that this new cookie will be popular as well. We take great pride in our ability to provide the highest quality products containing pre-cooked bacon that is shelf stable. It’s a unique process that ensures a long shelf life.”

Chuao Chocolatier Expands Fair Trade Offering

Chuao Chocolatier is expanding its fair trade-certified product offering across the brand’s entire chocolate portfolio. Since the brand’s foundation in 2002, Chuao Chocolatier has consciously partnered with purveyors who share the brand’s interest in sustainable practices. By supporting fair trade cocoa farmers through all of its chocolate confections, Chuao Chocolatier fortifies its brand promise to spread joy, not only among its consumers, but also for the individuals who help produce it.

According to Fair Trade USA reports, there have been over 1,200 companies committed to fair trade selling as of 2015. This movement is a reflection of consumers’ growing awareness of where and how their food is sourced. Through development premiums, brands that support fair trade certification, such as Chuao Chocolatier, empower farmers and their communities via educational stipends, environmental training, healthcare services and productivity investments.

“We have had a long-standing commitment to produce our chocolates with the utmost respect to our planet and have implemented various sustainability practices at our factory. From reduced packaging and organic certified cleaning solutions, to upgrading our facility to be energy efficient, we are doing our part to protect the environment,” said Chef Michael Antonorsi, Chuao’s co-Founder and Master Chocolatier. “By becoming fair trade-certified across our entire portfolio, we are also ensuring that our farmers, communities, women and children are receiving the support they need to lead happier and healthier lives.”

“Chuao has made an extensive commitment to fair trade cocoa farmers,” adds Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA. “We’re proud to work with them to deliver life-changing impact to cocoa-farming communities.”

Chuao’s signature line of ultra-premium chocolate bars and mini bars, bonbons and truffles, drinking chocolates and seasonal confections are crafted with a proprietary blend of chocolate. Additionally, the Enamored Collection is crafted with a decadent blend of organic, 72 percent dark chocolate, while the recently launched California Collective is comprised of a premium blend of chocolate. Shoppers’ purchase of these products empowers fair trade cocoa farmers to invest in building healthier, more sustainable communities.

The brand’s entire line of chocolate bars can be found online at, and in Chuao Chocolatier’ southern California boutique. A curated selection of the brand’s signature line of bars can also be found at fine grocery and specialty retailers nationwide. To find out more information about the brand’s fair trade certification, visit

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