ROCKLAND, Maine — A family company that make organic fruit-and-nut candy bars has won a significant financial boost.
Bixby & Co. LLC, maker of Bixby Bars, was named the winner Thursday of Gorham Savings Bank’s LaunchPad contest. The aim of the contest is to help fledgling entrepreneurs.
The bank stated on its website that 130 applications were received from Maine entrepreneurs. An independent panel of judges selected 12 semifinalists and nearly 9,000 public votes narrowed the field to five.
Those five, including Bixby, presented their ideas Thursday at a LaunchPad competition, from which Bixby & Co. emerged victorious.
“The mission of LaunchPad is to help fund the launch of a business idea that may not otherwise take flight. One of the biggest barriers for entrepreneurs can be the lack of funding. LaunchPad not only celebrates great ideas but provides the resources to help bring these ideas to life,” Gorham Savings states on its website.
Bixby & Co. had operated last year at Coastal Farms and Foods, a facility for new manufacturing businesses in Belfast. The company relocated earlier this year to 1 Sea Street Place in Rockland, off Tillson Avenue in space leased from O’Hara Corp.
Bixby & Co. was formed in 2011 by Kate 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 that the bars are produced with organic or natural ingredients including nuts, dried fruit and spices.