Baltimore County News
By Bryan Dunn, Department of Economic & Workforce Development
Heard of a “stick doctor”? If you’re from Baltimore and LAX country, you know that a “stick doctor” has mastered the art of stringing lacrosse sticks. With US Lacrosse headquarters now in Baltimore County, what better place for a “stick doctor” to launch a business dedicated to improving the sport he loves?
Baltimore County native Greg Kenneally took the art of the stick doctor to a new level by developing and manufacturing a perfected wax mesh material called East Coast Mesh. Today, East Coast Dyes has 25 employees and a range of products sold through major sports retailers around the world.
Take a video tour of East Coast Dyes and learn how the Baltimore County Boost Fund is helping this entrepreneurial company grow in Towson.
A YouTube sensation
Greg started the company by selling his mesh on E-bay. He then became a social media sensation, going viral with lacrosse videos reaching tens of thousands of players, coaches and fans around the world. Greg was completing a graduate degree in accounting at Towson University just as product demand went through the roof. Partnering with twin brother Mike, the duo combined their knowledge of the sport, social media savvy and impeccable work ethic to take the company to the next level.
Boosting out of the basement
A flexible loan from the Baltimore County Boost Fund helped East Coast Dyes get the working capital they needed. They moved out of Greg’s basement into a 9,000 square foot space in Towson. The company now has 25 employees, with plans to add more.
Baltimore County’s stick doctor is now a CEO, leading a company that is adding innovative products to the East Coast Dyes enterprise.
The company motto says it all: Hard Work Pays Off.
The Baltimore County Boost Fund is a flexible financing resource for small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in the region. For more information or to apply for a loan, visit the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development at www.BCBoostFund.com or call 410-887-8000.
By Fronda Cohen, Baltimore County Communications
Manufacturing in Baltimore County is taking a giant leap when the Mary Sue Candies Easter bunny moves to a new, state of the art factory in White Marsh. The iconic 32 foot inflatable pink bunny is part of a decades-old tradition at Mary Sue, one of many candy brands Ruxton Chocolates will manufacture in its new 100,000 square foot plant and headquarters at Baltimore Crossroads@95.
Bill Buppert, the 38-year-old CEO of Ruxton Chocolates, is the man behind the move. Much has changed in the 15 years the man lovingly called “Billy Wonka” took over management of the company that makes Mary Sue, Naron, Glauber’s and private label brand candies.
Tastes have moved toward dark chocolate with higher cocoa content. Customers are looking for something new, so Ruxton is always testing to find the next great saltwater taffy flavor, Easter egg filling, pecan log or almond bark treat. [Hungry yet?]
But when one of your brands started production in 1905, much should remain the same. Equipment will move from three Baltimore locations that are bursting to capacity. “Our traditional techniques are who we are. You’ll still find brittles and toffees churned in huge copper kettles and chocolate poured on marble tables,” said Buppert. “Our employees really define who we are. Together, our 43 employees have some 500 years of candy making experience. You can taste the difference in every piece of candy we make.”
When Ruxton Chocolates moves to Baltimore County in the spring of 2017, there will be 43 candy makers, machine operators and packers carefully setting chocolates in their packaging.
With more capacity at the new plant, those candy packers might be moving faster so they don’t become a scene from “I Love Lucy.”
For more information on how Baltimore County can help your factory move faster, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business or call the Department of Economic and Workforce Development at 410-887-8000.
The maker of Mary Sue, Naron and Glauber’s candies has begun construction of a new $8 million headquarters and manufacturing plant in Middle River. Ruxton Chocolates is consolidating three locations into a 100,000 square foot facility at Baltimore Crossroads @95, a 1,000-acre development along Maryland Route 43 in eastern Baltimore County.
"We are pleased that the company that makes some of Maryland’s iconic candy brands has picked Baltimore County for its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Ruxton Chocolates is the latest in almost $1 billion in recent private investment in the White Marsh-Middle River area.”
Ruxton Chocolates will bring 43 new jobs to Baltimore County when the facility opens in summer 2017.
Bond to help finance manufacturing expansion
Baltimore County helped Ruxton reduce the cost of borrowing by supporting an $8 million industrial revenue bond, a financing tool that allows manufacturers to borrow at a lower interest rate for major capital projects such as a new factory. With technical assistance from the County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development, the bond was issued to 1412 Tangier LLC, a company leasing the building to Ruxton Chocolates. The County does not incur any financial obligation for industrial revenue bonds.
County supports company growth
“Baltimore County has worked with us every step of the way as we put the pieces in place for this new building. We are very excited about growth opportunities as we expand our nationwide private label business,” said Bill Buppert, President of Ruxton Chocolates.
“It’s great news when another manufacturer chooses to bring jobs and new investment to Middle River,” said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.
Baltimore County is home to 492 manufacturers, with 13,800 jobs pumping $948 million in total annual wages into our county economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Revised September 26, 2016