A longtime Lebanon candy company has a new owner.
Wertz Candies, 718 Cumberland St., was bought by Linda and Dr. Robert Wertz Jr., who own an orthodontic practice, with offices in Lebanon, Robesonia, Berks County, and Hegins, Schuylkill County.
Linda Wertz, who will run the day-to-day operations, said she and her husband used to joke that if the candy company was ever for sale, they would buy it.
“People would hear our last name and always ask if we were the orthodontists or the candymakers,” she quipped. “So, when we heard the owners were selling, we decided to buy it and continue their legacy.”
The couple bought Wertz Candies for $320,000 on April 14. Wertz said brothers and former owners Richard and Charles Wertz are staying on to help with the transition. Their brother, William, is retiring.
Two longtime candymakers will also remain to make the candy, Wertz said.
“The recipes aren’t changing,” said Wertz who said she received the original recipes on the original paper as part of the sale.
Seasoned business operators, the Wertz’s are new to the candy making world. Wertz said she knows how hard it is to run a small business, but the couple wants to “serve the community we love.”
“Wertz has been in Lebanon for 92 years and we want to keep the tradition going,” she said.
“We are not directly closely related,” she said of her husband and the Wertz candy makers. “But we found we have a common ancestor. We are working to see exactly where that connection is.”
The store employs two full time candymakers and Wertz said she plans to hire additional staff to help on the front end. Extra help will be brought in seasonally, she said.
“I’m learning the front end and my father is learning to make caramel corn,” Wertz said. “I’m more on the business side. That’s not to say I’ll never learn to make candy, but I’ll serve the customers for now. I’m excited,” she said.
“We love dentistry, but this is new and fresh. It’s a different energy and we have amazing workers.”