June 24, 2018
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Organic candy-bar maker relocating to Rockland

Greg Miller photo | BDN
Greg Miller photo | BDN
Kate McAleer
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A company that produces organic fruit-and-nut candy bars will make Rockland its home.

Bixby & Co. LLC, maker of Bixby Bars, announced Monday it would be relocating to O’Hara Corp. property on Tillson Avenue that was formerly an ice-making facility as of March 1.

Owner Kate McAleer has been operating this year at Coastal Farms and Foods, a facility for new manufacturing businesses in Belfast. She acknowledged the support from Coastal Farms when she looked for a space to start the business.

In January, McAleer announced she planned to open her business at 279 Main St. in Rockland. Problems arose with the property, however, and she had to look for an alternate location. She located in Belfast but has since been looking to Rockland to expand the handmade candy operation.

“Our wholesale business continues to grow and that will require us to have more space to expand our output,” she said in a Monday news release. “We looked at a number of possible locations and this space simply meets our needs.”

“Bixby & Co. is a perfect example of the role Coastal Farms is playing in the development of local food production businesses. We wish them well as they continue to grow,” Wayne Snyder of Coastal Farms said in the news release.

Bixby & Co. was formed in 2011 by McAleer and her mother, Donna McAleer, in Warwick, N.Y. The family business makes handmade chocolate bars formulated by Kate McAleer. She said earlier this year the bars are produced with organic or natural ingredients including nuts, dried fruit and spices.

McAleer said she came up with the idea when she was playing on the golf team while attending New York University in New York City. The snack of choice for most teammates was candy bars, but she wanted a healthier choice and came up with the idea of starting the business.

The business name originated in the family. Her great-great-grandmother was Lillian Bixby.

Bixby & Co. recently has been notified that it is a finalist in the 2014 Good Food Awards aimed at creating and promoting ethical and sustainable foods.

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