General Merchandise/HBC

Harbor Wholesale Acquires Halfon Candy Co.

Distributor seizes opportunity to expand seasonal, specialty categories
harbor wholesale
Logo/Harbor Wholesale

Recognizing an opportunity to support its convenience-store and grocery customers by expanding into the seasonal and specialty candy category, independent, family-owned distributor Harbor Wholesale has acquired Halfon Candy Co., Seattle, from second-generation owners Alan and Marie Marie Scharhon.

“With the acquisition of Halfon Candy Co., we increase our overall market share and expand Harbor Wholesale in areas that would have taken us years to independently develop,” said Rick Jensen, president of Harbor Wholesale, Lacey, Washington. “This newly acquired expertise in seasonal and specialty candy brings Harbor customers more variety as well as access to unique items to help them grow overall sales and give us a stronger presence in traditional grocery.”

This acquisition builds on Harbor’s existing strength in the retail space, the company said, while providing opportunities to serve new customers in different channels.

“It is an honor to carry forward the great legacy of Halfon Candy and Alan Scharhon,” Jensen said.

Jim Halfon established Halfon Candy in 1946. His daughter Marie and son-in-law Alan Scharhon acquired ownership of the company in 1994. Alan started as a part-time worker at Halfon Candy while he was in college.

Alan Scharhon was honored in 2021 with his induction into the Candy Hall of Fame.

After 48 years, Alan is ready to pass along the 500 customers and a specialized product mix to the Harbor Wholesale team, the company said.

“As the time came near to determine our next steps, it seemed only natural to enter into a conversation with another multigenerational local family-owned and -operated business with the same core values as ours,” Alan Scharhon said, “I am fortunate to operate a business that allows me to have fun while operating a business. I am proud of what we have built at Halfon Candy Co., and I am comfortable Harbor Wholesale will support our customer base and carry on what we created.”

He will remain involved to ensure a smooth transition and continued commitment to team members, customers and vendors, said the companies.

Celebrating its 100th year in 2023, Harbor Wholesale serves more than 6,000 convenience stores, independent grocers and quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) with a wide selection of local and national products, business solutions and its Harbor-owned Real Fresh Brands, such as Mountain Fresh, Via Vita Pizza, Split Shift, Watertown Craft Roasted, Mein Street, Skippers, and Scratch Dig-In-Chicken. Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in Lacey, Washington, Portland and Roseburg, Oregon and the newly added location in Modesto, Caiifornia. Harbor Wholesale is a subsidiary of Harbor Foods.

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