Sugar Free Specialties LLC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of a new Dr. John’s $2.3 million, 22,000-square-foot candy-manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The company said it’s expanding due to global demand for the Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets product line. Mike McDonald, president and CEO of Sugar Free Specialties, said the company is seeing a surge in sales as the facility ramps up full-time production.
“The West Michigan region, with its wealth of technical, personnel and financial resources, along with a huge potential customer base, made it an easy decision to expand operations right here in our own backyard,” said McDonald. “We continue to enjoy phenomenal sales and success and look forward to continued growth at our manufacturing facility here in metro Grand Rapids.”
The grand opening of the new facility comes less than a year after the company launched its Healthy Sweets line of artisan candies, known as “The Healthiest Candies in the World.”
Dr. John’s currently has 20 employees at its new location and also sources some of its candy manufacturing at its White Pigeon, Mich. facility. The new location expects to add up to 30 more employees in the future.
Since its inception, Dr. John’s has been offering candies that not only taste great, but are good for you, too. The Healthy Sweets line of candies are made from natural ingredients, contain no sugar, provide a significant amount of dietary fiber per serving and are available with Vitamin C and probiotics.
“Consumers, particularly moms, continue to cut sugar consumption and seek healthier treats for their families,” said Dr. John Bruinsma, who along with his wife Deb, co-founded Dr. John’s Candies. “Our Healthy Sweets line of candies exceeds that demand by offering products that are all-natural and contain Vitamin C, Xylitol and Erythritol (sugar-free sweeteners that are plant based), low in calories and will not promote tooth decay.”
The idea to create his own line of candies came one day in 1995 when, upon leaving his dentist office in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dr. John Bruinsma grabbed a sugar-free lollipop to enjoy on his ride home. After a few tastes, he threw it away and said, “We give these to our patients?” He thought there might be a better alternative.
From there, he and his wife Debra, a dental hygienist, worked to research, develop and manufacture a full line of all natural, sugar-free, great-tasting candies including lollipops, hard candies, caramels, taffy, gourmet chocolates, chocolate bars, mints and gum.