Iconic Valley candymaker, Gorant Chocolates has halted production at its Boardman factory on Market Street as the company prepares for a change in ownership, according to a news release from the company.

 In business since 1949, Gorant announced that a sale is pending to what is described as new, local ownership. The release did not identify the possible new owners or specify how many workers have been impacted by the factory closure.

In addition to the suspension of chocolate production, the news release says that after Mother’s Day, the Gorants store on Route 224 in the Huntington Plaza will be closed, and their inventory will be consolidated to their main, corporate location at 8301 Market Street in Boardman, which will remain open.

Two licensee stores, in Austintown and Howland which currently operate under the Gorant brand, will transition to private, individual brands in the coming months. 

“While the sale is still pending, I am confident that the new, local owners will enhance the quality and traditions behind the Gorant brand,” said Joe Miller, one of the current owners. “This new team already has a strong commitment and track record in the Mahoning Valley.”

“I anticipate not only a smooth transition but also additional job growth as they take Gorant to a new level,” Miller said.

Gorant Chocolates was started by Charles and Sam Gorant in 1949. The factory location at 8301 Market Street was built and opened in 1977.  In 1982, Sam Gorant passed away. Four years later, Charles Gorant sold the company. Charles has since passed away.

In the early 2000s, Gorant’s products were sold in more than 500 corporate-owned American Greetings retail stores.  They were known as Carlton Cards and Yum Yum Tree.  Gorant also supplied more than 200 additional wholesale accounts nationwide.