Esther Price Candies expands to satisfy customer demand

Esther Price Candies hopes to be making sweet treats in its new production facility addition this fall. 

>> The best places to get chocolate in Dayton

The iconic Dayton candy shop, which operates its flagship retail store and its production facilities in the 1700 block of Wayne Avenue in Dayton, is in the process of adding a 20,517-square-foot, three-floor expansion onto the company’s 53,000 square feet of production capabilities.

>> Esther Price goes back to its roots 

The addition will allow Esther Price to boost production with some automated lines that will produce caramel and toffee, according to Doug Dressman, the candy company’s vice president. It will also pave the way for an expansion of the candy company’s private-label business, in which the company produces candies sold by other brands, Dressman said.

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Construction progress has been hampered by an uncooperative winter. 

“We were hoping to get in there in July, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” the Esther Price vice president said. “We hope to be using it by the fall.”

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The Dayton chocolate and candy company was launched in 1926 by Esther Price, a downtown Dayton department store employee who, at the urging of her co-workers, started a chocolate-making business out of her home. Her home business continued until 1952, when she opened her first store on Wayne Avenue, which still serves as the company’s headquarters and production facility.

>> Behind the scenes at Esther Price (2016)

Cincinnati businessman Jim Day and three colleagues purchased the company from its founder in 1976, and Day’s family has owned the candy maker since 2006. It now operates seven stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati area.

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