Despite the struggling economy, DeMet’s Candy Co. has made plans to open a new, state-of-the-art production facility in Big Flats, N.Y. The 100,000-sq.-ft. facility will house all candy making operations for the TURTLES brand, including enrobing, caramel making, packaging and warehousing, while creating 80-100 full-time jobs and 50-100 seasonal jobs.

The new facility will allow DeMet’s to produce more than 20 million pounds of product annually. Thanks to the added space, the company plans to introduce more seasonal items in the TURTLES line.

Previously, TURTLES were being produced in the company’s facility in Ontario, Canada. The new facility encompasses the production of TURTLES products along with a handful of FLIPZ chocolate-covered pretzels products.

“We knew when we acquired the TURTLES brand in 2007 that we would have to update the capabilities of our facility in Canada,” said Henk Hartong III, chairman of DeMet’s Candy. “When we took a step back and looked at the big picture, we realized it made more business sense to build a new facility in the U.S. rather than trying to work within the constraints of our old facility.”

DeMet’s Candy Co. owns the TURTLES, FLIPZ, TREASURES and STIXX brands. The company is privately held by private equity fund Brynwood Partners.