Let it Rip: A new building for Foreign Candy

Posted February 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm


The Foreign Candy Company, Inc., announced this past Wednesday plans for a new corporate building set to be placed in annexed property for the Hull Industrial Development Corporation complex.

“We are very excited for a lot of our employees,” The Foreign Candy Company, Inc., chief executive officer, president and owner Peter De Yager said. “They’ve seen the progress we’ve made as a company. They’ve been a part of our success. They’ve made it happen.”

The Foreign Candy Company started out as a venture in De Yager’s basement in 1978. De Yager and his wife, Betsy, were both employed at Western Christian High School at the time. Peter was a German instructor and Betsy in an administrative position.

DeYager saw candy as a way foreign language instructors could raise funds for trips and other classroom endeavors.

It’s expected the city will annex more than 60 acres for an expanded HIDC complex west of Kevin Boote’s farm across from Ozone Solutions.

The expanded industrial zone will run from Brown Street to Hayes Avenue. Roads will be extended south of United States Highway 18, AKA, Black Forest Road. There will be a yet unnamed connecting street between Brown and Hayes.

“Donson Farms (Boote) was very cooperative in the process,” Hull city administrator Les Van Roekel said. “We will create additional lots for other businesses. We will have more highway frontage property.”

Van Roekel said the new complex will be seen as a beacon for travelers coming through town from the west on Highway 18.

“We’re excited,” Van Roekel said. “Peter has been a good supporter of the community.”

The Foreign Candy Company is the only known tenant for the new complex at this time.

Paperwork on the land deal has been drafted and is ready for signatures.

There will be public hearings concerning the land annexation. Van Roekel said this process should take up to two months.

The area will be rezoned industrial and a tax-increment financing (TIF) area will be created. Water and sewer lines will need to be constructed, which will take into account highway right-of-way considerations.

Platting will occur once the land is annexed. DeWild, Grant and Reckert and Associates Company of Rock Rapids will serve as the engineers on the project.

Tuckett’s of Sioux Center will serve as the architects and designers on the new building. Schelling Construction, also of Sioux Center, has been chosen as the general contractors on the project.

As part of the deal, The Foreign Candy Company will move its outlet store to the highway and the old Hull Creamery building will be sold to the HIDC, who will in turn look for a new tenant.

“It’s nice that we will have our own facility,” De Yager said. “It will for our building to be a showcase. It’s going to be attractive.”

De Yager pointed to innovation as a means to build a new structure now.

“We’re always doing new and exciting things,” he said. “We want to be on the cutting edge.”

In the early 1990s, there was no extreme sour candy on the market. De Yager came up with Warheads, which became immensely popular.

Close to the turn of the century, Foreign Candy Company moved into the new HIDC complex. In recent years, Foreign Candy Company shared workspace with Agropur, the cheese-and-whey producer.

The new building features a futuristic design yet an analog clock on its façade.

“It will be a creative place, and colorful,” De Yager said. “We will have lots of windows and natural light.”

De Yager informed company employees about the new building on Monday, Feb. 20. The company has six main departments — marketing, finance, sales, accounting, supply chain and human resources. Supply chain involves purchasing and logistics.

Building new was an easy decision for De Yager to make, citing strong profits during the fiscal years of 2009-2011. Peter reported sales have increased roughly 35 percent each year for the past three years.

That’s because The Foreign Candy Company products such as Beach Bucket Toys ‘N’ Treats and Aftershocks popping candy have found their way into more retail centers. Recently, De Yager announced a partnership with Quik Trip convenience stores to sell his candy.

Consumers can find The Foreign Candy Company products in places such as Walmart, Walgreen’s, HyVee grocery stores, Casey’s General Stores and all 7-Eleven locations.

The new structure is expected to be between 20,000-30,000 square feet. Construction is slated to begin soon. According to a press release obtained by the Sioux County Index-Reporter, the building should be completed later this year.

De Yager said the new building will also include a history room, with the company’s past from 1978 to the present day. The lion’s share of the company’s candy is stored in a Le Mars-based warehouse.

In addition, De Yager said he plans on adding more employees when the building is finished. There are about 40 people currently working for The Foreign Candy Company, Inc.