Sugar Free Specialties LLC, maker of Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets, has opened its $2.3 million manufacturing facility in Plainfield Township, Michigan. 
The company is already seeing a strong surge in sales as the 22,000-sq.-ft. facility ramps up full-time production, said President and CEO Mike McDonald. 
“The West Michigan region, with its wealth of technical, personnel and financial resources, along with a huge potential customer base, made it an easy decision to expand operations right here in our own backyard,” he said. “We continue to enjoy phenomenal sales and success and look forward to continued growth at our manufacturing facility here in metro Grand Rapids.”
The grand opening of the new facility comes less than a year after the company launched its Healthy Sweets line. Dr. John’s currently has 20 employees at the Plainfield Township location, and up to 30 more employees will be added. Sugar Free Specialties also sources some candy manufacturing at a facility in White Pigeon, Mich.
Since its inception, Dr. John’s has been carving out its market niche by offering candies that taste great and are good for you. The Healthy Sweets line is made with natural ingredients. The products provide dietary fiber and are available with Vitamin C and probiotics.
“Consumers, particularly moms, continue to cut sugar consumption and seek healthier treats for their families,” said Dr. John Bruinsma, who along with his wife Debra, co-founded Dr. John’s Candies. “Our Healthy Sweets line of candies exceeds that demand by offering products that are all-natural, low in calories and will not promote tooth decay.”
Bruinsma decided to create his own sweets in 1995. When leaving his dentist office in Grand Rapids one day, he grabbed a sugar-free lollipop to enjoy on his ride home. After a few tastes, he threw it away, thinking there might be a better alternative. From there, he and Debra, a dental hygienist, researched, developed and manufactured a full line of all natural, sugar free, great-tasting candies including lollipops, hard candies, caramels, taffy, gourmet chocolates, chocolate bars, mints and gum.