Chocolates manufacturer sets distribution from Reno
Russell Stover Candies is launching a distribution center in Reno, the first in the Western United States for the company headquartered at Kansas City, Mo.
The company, the largest manufacturer of boxed chocolates in the United States, leased 56,800 square feet at 1150 Trademark Drive in South Meadows Business Park for the facility.
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, which provided assistance to the chocolates maker, said the company is expected to employ 12 in Reno. EDAWN estimated the first-year economic impact of the new facility at $1.5 million.
Russell Stover will serve regional as well as national customers from the distribution center. The company sells nearly 100 million pounds of chocolates annually through about 50 company-owned stores as 70,000 wholesale accounts.
The distribution space leased by Russell Stover is part of a 193,600-square-foot distribution center owned by ProLogis. The lease marks the first deal with Russell Stover for Denver-based ProLogis, the world’s largest owner of distribution properties.
Brandon Page, vice president and market officer in Reno for ProLogis, said Russell Stover was attracted to the South Meadows property by its access to major transportation routes as well as the availability of a skilled labor force in nearby neighborhoods.
ProLogis, the largest provider of industrial space in northern Nevada, owns six buildings totaling nearly 2 million square feet in South Meadows.
Privately held Russell Stover manufactures its candies in plants at Abilene and Iola, Kansas; Corsicana, Texas; and Montrose, Colo. Its annual production of chocolate trails only Hershey and MasterFoods, the parent company of M&M Mars.
Its three brands Russell Stover, Whitman’s and Pangburn’s have more than a 60 percent share of the boxed-chocolate market nationwide, and it says that per capita consumption of boxed chocolate in the United States is approaching a half pound a year.
The agreements are designed to split the costs of improvements such as traffic signals between Carson City and developers whose projects generate the traffic increases that trigger the need for improvements.