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What started out as a small, local family business is now being recognized as being one of the best in the business.

Annabelle Candy Co., Inc. is being honored with California’s annual Small Business Day Award.

"I am very proud of our company's success and achievements and appreciate the recognition of our hard work," says Susan Karl, president and ceo at the company. "To be honored with this award is a testament to the commitment and hard work put forward by our entire company."

California’s Small Business Day first was established in 2000 to honor the contributions of small businesses to the state.

"Annabelle Candy Co., Inc. is a shining example of the power of free enterprise and the opportunities it can create for America's doers and dreamers," says Michael Sweeney, Hayward mayor. "When businesses, such as Annabelle Candy Co., Inc., invest in the future of Hayward, those investments contribute immeasurably to Hayward's image as a good place to live, work and do business."

Annabelle Candy is a third-generation family business founded in 1950 in San Francisco and is known for its Rocky Road, Big Hunk, Abba Zaba, Look, and Uno Candy Bar products. The company moved to its present location in Hayward, Calif. in 1965.

In 1972, Annabelle Candy acquired the Golden Nugget Co., makers of Big Hunk and Look candy bars. Six years later, the company acquired the Cardinet Co., makers of U-No and Abba Zaba candy bars. The products currently are manufactured in their Hayward, Calif. factory and headquarters.