New York company buys Hayward candy manufacturing site

Left to right: Sam Altshuler and Wesley R. Edens in front of 27211 Industrial Blvd. (Getty Images, Annabelle Candy Company, Google Maps)

Annabelle Candy, maker of Rocky Road, Big Hunk and Abba-Zaba candy bars, has sold its office and manufacturing facility in Hayward to a subsidiary of New York-based Fortress Investment Group.

The company, founded by a Belarusian immigrant in East Bay, sold the property at 27211 Industrial Boulevard for $13 million, reported. Members of the Gogol and Karl families, who have been linked in senior roles with Annabelle Candy for years, were also involved in the deal.

Annabelle Candy’s history in Hayward dates back to 1950 when the company was established. The candy conglomerate, which is best known for producing candy bars such as Rocky Road, Look and U-No, built the factory on Industrial Boulevard in 1965. All of its products were made at the recently sold site.

The company’s founder, Sam Altshuler, came to the United States in 1917 and started his business selling candy bars from a cart outside movie theaters. Altshuler named the company after his daughter Annabelle. The candy maker has grown over the years by acquiring rival confectionery companies like Golden Nugget Co. and Cardinet Co.

Fortress’s plans for the candy-making site remain unknown, and the company did not provide comment when asked. The company has purchased several properties in the Bay Area in recent months, bringing the company $54.2 billion in assets.

In nearby Fremont, another New York company has purchased about 28 acres of land in a joint venture with an El Segundo company. Clarion Partners and 9th Street Partners paid $123 million for the property and plan to build six Class A industrial buildings, totaling 495,000 square feet, on nearly a dozen lots.

[SV] —Victoria Pruitt