The Warrell Corporation has been making candy in Cumberland County for 55 years.
Within their 200,000-square-foot complex in Lower Allen Township, Warrell Corporation produces millions of pounds of confections every year, much of which is made on contract for a number of national Fortune-500 companies. Contract candy making now comprises over 80 percent of Warrell’s total sales volume.
The company was founded by Lincoln and Marilyn Warrell in 1965 in Mount Holly Springs as Pennsylvania Dutch Candies. Expansion led to the larger facility in 2000 in Lower Allen Township, though Pennsylvania Dutch Candies continues to operate as a unit of Warrell.
“We are a vibrant, family-owned business nestled in Cumberland County,” said Annette Warrell Jones, one of Lincoln and Marilyn Warrell’s six children who serves as Warrell Corporation Marketing Manager. “Our unrivaled snack and candy expertise has led us to mastering six manufacturing kitchens that are executed to perfection in our modern facility.”
The Warrell Corporation employs approximately 300 people under CEO Matt Caiazza, who stepped in to his role in 2018. He replaced Kevin Silva, son-in-law of the Warrells, who held the position for 26 years.
Two of Warrell’s primary kitchens are focused on different methods of chocolate production — chocolate enrobing and artistic chocolate panning. In the artistic chocolate panning, a center of pretzel balls roasted nuts, dusted almonds, raisins or dried fruits is placed in a rotating pan where it goes around and around as a coating builds up with each rotation. Coatings can go beyond chocolate and range from white yogurt, caramel, fudge and peanut butter.
The enrobing process is completely different, though it achieves a similar result. A waterfall of chocolate coats the top of center as it moves along a conveyor belt, while the bottom is submerged in a pool of chocolate.
The Warrell Corporation also produces and sells a large variety of products under its own brand, Pennsylvania Dutch Candies. Novelty products like caramels, peanut brittle, and chocolate covered peanut butter pillows can be found alongside more mainstream candies at travel plazas, independent grocery shops and niche gift shops.