by Mike Vogel
Candy for a Cause
Tracy Ernst got the idea for her nausea-easing candies after seeing a friend with cancer battle the side effects of chemotherapy. An avid cyclist, she was riding solo one day when an image of the friend came to mind. She says she later received a “divine message to make hard candies with essential oils.”
She and her husband, Dean, in 2018 founded Essential Candy in Wellington in Palm Beach County. The candies are infused with oils from peppermint, elderberry, turmeric, cayenne and other sources. A separate line of candies and gummies have CBD. “Candy with functional benefits,” says Dean Ernst, such as for digestive health. Most customers take just one to three a day.
A 3-ounce bag runs from $10.95 to $11.95. A 1.9-ounce bag of 15 CBD candies costs $20. The company donates a bag of candy to cancer support groups for every bag purchased.
The Ernsts wouldn’t share revenue information but say the company has made more than a half-million candies. A new facility can churn out 20,000 to 30,000 per day and can scale to 100,000. The couple anticipate employing 12 people by year-end and are expanding into Canada and Australia.
- France-based Daher plans to acquire Triumph Group’s aerostructure production and assembly business in Stuart, which employs 400. Aerostructures include fuselages, wings and doors.
- Germany-based Schroth Safety Products, which makes seat belts and restraints for the aerospace, defense and motorsport markets, opened its Americas headquarters and manufacturing plant in Fort Lauderdale, where it will employ 60. Previously, it had a smaller facility in Pompano Beach.
- Florida Atlantic University and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience partnered to launch the first U.S.-based International Max Planck Research School for Synapses and Circuits in Jupiter.
- Indian River State College is offering tuition-free associate’s degrees for qualifying 2022 high school graduates of public schools in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. Students must have at least a 2.0 GPA and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA at IRSC.
- The National Endowment for the Arts gave $10,000 to the Arc of Palm Beach County to provide people with developmental disabilities art lessons and showcase their artistic talents in the community.
- Virginia-based Garcia Cos. and Warfield Investments received Indiantown village approval to develop Terra Lago. The 800-acre, mixeduse project will include 2,000 singlefamily homes, 174 townhouses, 300 apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space in a town center. The project may include a 200-bed assisted living center. It will be Indiantown’s largest development.
- A joint venture of New York- and Miami-based Hyperion Group and New York-based partner Winter Properties plans 348 apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space on a 3.5-acre site on Federal Highway in Boynton Beach.
- Florida-based builder Luxcom plans a 235-unit, garden-style rental development at Oakland Park Boulevard and University Drive in Sunrise.
- Deerfield Beach-based franchisor Learning Experience plans to open another 13 locations in Florida and 100 nationally in the next two years.
- St. Louis-based hotelier Drury wants to redevelop the old Loehmann’s Plaza at I-95 and PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens into a 292-room Drury hotel, its first in Southeast Florida, and a 315-unit apartment building.
- Broward’s school board appointed interim superintendent Vickie Cartwright to the position permanently and will pay her $350,000 per year. After losing its contract with Florida Healthy Kids, contractor Maximus laid off 96 administrative employees in Fort Pierce and four in Tallahassee who worked on the project.
- Stuart-based Seacoast Bank opened two branches in Broward, one in Victoria Park in Fort Lauderdale and the other in Plantation.