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Russell Stover brings retail shop to area

The country's largest producer of boxed chocolates will open its 51st retail outlet in Greenville during the first week in August.

People find Russell Stover's boxed chocolates in over 70,000 drug stores, card and gift stores, department stores and mass merchandisers, and their candies have even found their way into film.

Founded in 1923 by Russell and Clara Stover in Denver, Col., Russell Stover Candies currently has five factories and 10 distribution centers.

The new outlet will employ up to 18 local residents in full-time and part-time possisions.

"We're going to be more than just an outlet for boxed chocolates though," said Ron Barnum, director of store development for Russell Stover. "We're going to sell 16 flavors of Mayfield ice cream, caramel apples, peanut brittle. Anything sweet you could pretty much come here and get what you want."

The new outlet will feature a dining area in addition to the retail section.

"Though you can find some of our chocolates in retail stores, this outlet will carry the full line of Russell Stover, Whitman's and Pangburn's candies," said Barnum.

Most candies will be shipped in from the distribution center located in Wildwood, Fla., but some candies will be made on site.

"We have five factories producing around the clock with all the latest equipment and automation, but we still have to make some things by hand," said Barnum. Russell Stover hand-dips more than 25 million pieces of candy a year.

Barnum says Greenville was chosen because of the extremely good Interstate exit, the great town and good support from both locals and travelers.