Candyman Comes to Town

Majestic Candies Company is coming to town. The arrival has just been pushed back a bit.

“We’re not on schedule for July, unfortunately,” said Majestic’s Don Perrotta on Wednesday.

Hailed by local officials as a company that will invest $6 million and bring over 100 jobs to the area over several years—Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward even threw the business a nod during his State of the City address recently—Majestic was slated to open up shop next month. That start date has been pushed to August.

“Looks like it’s going to be probably the middle of August before we try to test out our equipment and start making some candy,” Perrotta said, adding that the business would be up and running later that month.

Apparently, the H.T. Hackney building on W Government Street—where the business will reside—has required more preparation than expected.

“This old tobacco place, you can’t get it clean enough,” said Perrotta. “It’s just full of cigar and tobacco smoke.”

Once work on the building is complete, the candy company’s digs will feature a production floor, as well as a glassed-in viewing hallway. The hallway will allow visitors to watch the candies being made.

Majestic Candies focuses on pralines. Perrotta said a third of the business is pralines, but they soon plan to branch out into chocolates.

“They’re almost as addictive as the pralines,” he said.

Currently, Majestic employees between seven and 10 people. The company will begin hiring more people—“slowly”—in August. Perrotta said he’s looking to have 30 employees by the end of the year, with that number increased to 100 by 2014.

Majestic Candies has its roots in a “small shop” in Spanish Fort, Ala. This venture, however, is a new endeavor—and much bigger, as the Spanish Fort shop only produced between 1,200 and 1,500 pieces of candy each week.

“This is a one of a kind, first-time operation,” Perrotta said, noting that the Pensacola facility will be able to produce 6,000 pieces of candy each hour. “That’s quite a big difference.”