barry callebautSt. Louis-based Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier has acquired Iowa City, Iowa-based Bochner Chocolates in an effort to expand its national presence.

The sale closed Nov. 30 for an undisclosed amount.

Bochner Chocolates produces private label and co-manufactured products for a variety of notable retailers and Bissinger’s says the deal will help expand its operations.

Eric Bochner, Bochner founder and president, will assume the position of senior v.p. of operations and private label sales for Bissinger’s.

Bochner Chocolates also will move several key people as well as equipment to St. Louis sometime this year to fully integrate with Bissinger’s. To accommodate the expansion, Bissinger’s is reviewing several building options in the St. Louis area. Along with a physical move, it will also create 40 full and part-time jobs to the St. Louis area.

“Combining our advanced technology model with Bissinger’s extensive sales and distribution network will elevate Bissinger’s to levels the company has never seen,” says Bochner.  “I am very excited to be a part of the next chapter of Bissinger’s long and distinguished history.”

Ken Kellerhals, Bissinger’s president, says the acquisition helps the company reach its goal of becoming a premier boutique chocolatier with a national presence.  

“We had to acquire a like-minded company with state-of-the-art capabilities that complement Bissinger’s heritage, quality, strategy, products and sales network,” he explains. “This is the perfect fit for Bissinger’s.”