San Diego-area based Quality Candy Co., Inc. announced yesterday that Mr. Al Bono, the former CEO of Favorite Brands, Inc., has joined the company as a principal. He will immediately assume the post of President and CEO of the fifteen-year-old hard candy manufacturer. Current President and Company founder, Pierre Redmond will become Chairman of the recently enlarged board of directors, and will remain active in management.

Mr. Bono immediately tapped former Favorite Brands sales executive Gary Matthews as Quality’s Director of Sales. Mr. Bono will continue to reside and work from Chicago, while Mr. Matthews is based in Massachusetts. Mr. Matthews was responsible for a $100 million Favorite Brands sales division where he managed four regional managers and a national accounts team. His most recent position was in leading the successful launch of Chuck-E-Cheese brand frozen pizza.

Other Quality Candy Co. management will remain in place. Laurie Redmond, a co-founder, will continue as Vice President, Finance & Administration. Vice President of Operations, Mr. William Markus, remains in the post he has held since 1996.

According to Redmond, “Al was introduced to me early this year by one of our outside Directors. Mr. Stephen Horowitz, the former CEO of $100 million Interstate Restaurant Supply, put us in touch and Al came on as a consultant initially. He led our management team through the development of an exciting and aggressive Strategic Plan. We spent a lot of time together and found we shared many fundamental business values. I am thrilled to recruit such a high level partner to lead our company to the proverbial ‘next level,’ and beyond. Al is a brilliant strategic thinker, an extremely capable hands-on manager, and his knowledge of the candy industry is second to none.”

Quality Candy operates a “maquiladora,” or cross-border plant about ten minutes from the U.S.-Mexican border, near San Diego. The plant’s strategic location gives it access to lower cost labor and world sugar prices. The majority of the plant’s output is sold in the U.S. The company produces starlight mints, lollipops, stick candy, throat lozenges, other wrapped hard candies, and co-manufactures canes. Foodservice continues to be a primary focus and the company is considered to be the leading supplier of hard candy to the foodservice industry. Other growth has come through co-manufacturing contracts, private label, and direct sales to discount stores.

For further information, contact Pierre Redmond, predmond@qcandy.com, Tel. 760-765-1891, or Al Bono, abono@qcandy.com, Tel. 312-243-3713.