By Bernard Pacyniak //At-a-GlanceBrown & HaleyHeadquarters: Fife, Wash.(165,000 sq. ft.)Plant: Tacoma, Wash. (110,000sq. ft., three major lines)Sales: 60 million - 70 million(Candy Industry estimate)Employees: 300Output: 2.5 million Roca brandpieces dailyRoca brand confections are sold in65 countriesBrands: Almond Roca, CashewRoca, Mocha Roca, PeppermintRoca, Dark Roca, MacadamiaRoca, Sea Salt Caramel Roca,Roca Thins, Mountain Bars,Mountain ThinsProducts: Buttercrunch toffee,chocolate bark, caramel, clusters,chocolate mints, bars.Management team: PiersonClair, vice chairman & ceo;John Melin, president and coo;David Armstrong, sr. v.p. supplychain /operations; Sara Clair,director of product development;Ken Rosenberg, director ofU.S. sales; Rick Nicks, directorof international sales; KathiRennaker, director of marketing.IEDITOR-IN-CHIEFt’s an impressiveresume: Chocolatier;entrepreneur; politicalactivist; consultant;new product developer; foundationchairman; industry volunteer;philanthropist. Of course, let’s notforget wife, mother and foodie.Sara Clair’s accomplishments covera lot of territory. But if there are tworeoccurring themes that connect CandyIndustry’s 72nd Kettle Awards recipientto all the hats she’s worn and wears, it’schocolate and the kitchen table.As one might expect, Clair’s love ofchocolate started at an early age, and atthe kitchen table.“I was 8 when I made my fi rst batchof chocolate chip cookies,” she says.“Brownies followed shortly thereafter.”As Clair goes on to explain, hermother was an excellent cook. And oneof her grandmothers was a baker andcandy maker, albeit not a professional.“She simply made it for the family,”she adds.Oh yes, cook books happened to beher romance novel of choice as a tween.“I loved reading the GoodHousekeeping cook books, eventuallymoving up to Julia Child andLenotres.”But Clair did more than simplyenjoy reading cook books, sheembraced the craft.“Food is my art,” she exclaims. “Itwas fun for me to experiment.”The experiment evolved intoexperience as she began workingin catering while in high school,eventually specializing in makingdesserts and confections.“You have to remember that at thetime [mid 1970s], the Bay Area, beginningwith Chez Panisse, was the leading edgefor food entrepreneurs,” Clair points out.It was within that environment Clairenrolled at Stanford University, takingher culinary creativity with her. It’s nosurprise then that Clair’s major was going to be “interdisciplinary,” a self-driven program that involved taking formalclasses alongside research courses.“You could take businessschool classes alongside industrialengineering; it was a marvelous time,”she recalls with a smile.It was during this period (1978) thatClair not only took on a full academic load, but also kicked off hernew business, chocolate truffles.The enterprising young womanhad developed a methodology to extend the shelf-life of her premium, freshcream Silver Elegance truffles.She hand-dipped at night, attendedclasses in the morning and deliveredto the Bay area’s gourmet retailers inthe afternoon. Driven is one way todescribe her.With Mt. Rainer as a backrop, Sara Clair, Brown& Haley's director of product development,proudly holds the 72nd Kettle Award in front ofthe Memorial Globe in Tacoma's Thea's Park.Photo by Pierson Clair IV.20 CANDY INDUSTRY August 2017W W W. C ANDYINDU STRY.COM

Brown & Haley’s director of product developmenttakes home Candy Industry’s 72ndKettle Award. Her recipefor success lies in thescientific method,spreadsheets andsheer drive.METHODMoxieWWW.C A N D YI N D U S TRY. C O MAugust 2017 CANDY INDUSTRY 21

Sara Clair andKathi Rennaker,Director ofMarketing,inspect Sea SaltCaramel Rocapieces that will belaunched this fall.Photo byPierson Clair IVSara and Pierson Clair display their Kettle Awards (2017 and 2011) nextto a historic copper kettle used in the production of Roca confections.Upon completing her masters, Clair committed to startingher own business.“I signed a lease to sublet factory space in Redwood City,”she says. “The company was called the Ultimate Food Co.,since chocolate is the ultimate food. I also joined RCI [RetailConfectioners International]."In 1983, Clair looked to show her products to the world byexhibiting at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco’sMoscone Center.“At that time, there was only one Moscone Center, not likethe two they have today that are connected by an undergroundwalkway,” she says. “All the new exhibitors were relegatedto a room under the escalator, while established companieswere located in the main room. However, 15 minutes beforethe show opened, I received word that a space had opened upin the main room because one company failed to arrive. Theshow organizers asked me, since I was first on the list [she hadsigned up a year in advance] if I wanted to move to the largehall. So I packed up my products and went from a 10 x 10 to a10 x 20 booth. It was like getting an upgrade; it was marvelous.There were buyers from across the country.”Of course, it would be like Clair to register for the show ayear in advance. It’s part of that interdisciplinary mix that hasserved her so well. It’s also a personality trait that caught theeye of Pierson Clair.At the time, Pierson was working for Blommer ChocolateCo. as its West Coast Vice President. After calling on her as a22 CANDY INDUSTRY August 2017potential customer — he was initially rebuffed several times —Pierson realized he was attracted to the accomplishedchocolatier, regardless whether she was going to buy hischocolate or not.“I remember our fi rst date; I took her to Ghirardelli Square,”he says. “I asked if she wanted a hot fudge sundae. She declined,explaining that she sampled chocolate all day long. Well, Iordered one. It was then I noticed she began sampling mysundae. I knew then she was my kind of woman.”Marriage followed suit, then children, Elizabeth and PiersonIV. During this time, Sara continued to work as a consultant,focused on product development. As the children grew, so didtheir role in being their mother’s taste panel.“Everything starts in the kitchen,” she explains. Thus, itwasn’t unusual to see product samples laid out along with scoresheets during the week. Math drills were conducted using Oreocookies and Jelly Belly jelly beans.Even trips to the supermarket refl ected Sara’s work in thekitchen as she pointed out successful new product launches onthe shelves, which had their origins at home.“How many people do you know that have a Hilliard’schocolate melter and a Robot Coupe food processor in theirkitchen?” she asks.Sara’s creativity in the kitchen took on a more personalconnection when Pierson accepted an offer from Brown & Haleyin 1997 to become president of the company.“It was the perfect next step,” she explains. “Here was theopportunity to take a beloved iconic brand and strengthen it byadding fl avors and focus.”Thus, when Sara joined Brown & Haley’s research anddevelopment team in 1998, she was both thrilled and cautious.“Almond Roca was what we called an ‘orphan brand,’” she says.“There was just one fl avor and perhaps two package sizes. AlmondRoca was the brand. We wanted Roca to be the brand whileintroducing new fl avors, such as cashews or macadamias.”Nonetheless, the fi rst rule of thumb was to see whatconsumers were saying about the brand, fi nding out what theywould like to see. Fortunately, for Sara and Pierson, a local drugstore chain, Bartell’s, happened to be the perfect proving groundfor customer feedback.The chain, which was 22 years older than Brown & Haley — itwas founded in 1890 while Brown & Haley emerged in 1912 — hada tremendously loyal clientele who were Almond Roca fans.Nonetheless, when it comes to introducing a new fl avoror product, “The consumer has to give you permission,” SaraW W W. C ANDYINDU STRY.COM

Numbers gameWhile reminiscing with Candy Industry,Pierson Clair, vice chairman of Brown& Haley and a 2011 Kettle Awardrecipient, compared his day-after theaward experience, with his wife, Sara,the 2017 recipient.“The day after I received the KettleAward, I was in the booth and therewere all these people coming up tome and congratulating me, from pastwinners and nominees to friends in theindustry,” he says. “Meanwhile, whenSara received the Award this year, shedidn’t get a chance to be in the boothon Wednesday. In fact, she had arrivedearly at McCormick Place to lead theConfectionery Foundation studentindustry day.”But people did come to the booth.Many shouted out “No. 3,” in referenceto Sara being only the third womanto receive the Kettle Award. Othersreminded Pierson that he and Sarawere only the second couple in KettleAwards history to receive individualawards; Ellen (1985) and Melvin (2009)Gordon being the first.Sara acknowledges that there weremany congratulatory phone calls andemails from women in the industryrecognizing her accomplishment asa female. Admitting that she hadbutterflies that evening, Sara reallydidn’t think that the award would goto her.“The odds were against me,” she says,pointing out that the other nominees,which included Shawn Askinosie ofAskinosie Chocolate, Steven Genzoli ofGhirardelli Chocolate and Kirk Vashawof Spangler Candy Co., represented an“outstanding” group of industry leaders.But Sara beat the odds, as she oftendoes. She’s also optimistic that morewomen will follow.“There are great women in theindustry who are doing remarkablework building their companies andstrengthening the industry,” Sara says.emphasizes. After experimenting and testing with a multitudeof flavor options, Sara and her team launched Mocha Roca,which featured dark chocolate and espresso beans.Again, thanks to extensive sampling — Brown & Haley hasan outlet kiosk outside its manufacturing plant that drawsloyal customers continuously, an ideal format for testing newproduct launches — Mocha Roca debuted.It was a success, but then the groundwork had been laid forits acceptance.As Pierson explains, it took 80 years (Mocha Roca debuted in2003) before Almond Roca had a companion flavor.Since then, the company has launched 14 new productsand five additional Roca flavors — Cashew, Dark, Macadamia,Peppermint and most recently, Sea Salt Caramel.All have been successful. Sea Salt Caramel, which will comeout this fall, promises to be a rookie sensation, with expectations that it will soar to No. 2 in sales within a couple of years.“We’re a small company, and when we launch a newproduct, it has to be right,” he says.Of all the new Roca flavorlaunches, Dark Chocolate provedto be the most challenging.“It was critical to fi nd theright chocolate, one thatwould blend nicely with thewarm butter flavors,” Saraexplains. “We wanted a darkchocolate component butwithout the strong tanninsWWW.C A N D YI N D U S TRY. C O MPierson Clair helps Sara with the copper kettleduring Candy Industry's Kettle Awards reception.“I’m sure there will be many morewomen who, in the years to come, will benominated. There’s so much talent anddedication.”Oh yes, Pierson also pointed out anotherdifference between his experience andSara’s. Flowers.“She received so many flowers, both tothe office and to the house,” he says. “Inever received flowers.”Of course, there was that meaningfulboutonniere.or one that was too mild. It took us six months and 50 samplesbefore we decided on the right chocolate.“It’s all about the scientific method,” she says. “You changeone thing at a time and then sample it. There are no surprises.”That process provides the R&D team the confidence itneeds to choose the right recipe before launch. It also allows afree-wheeling approach to ideas and innovations.As Pierson explains, the research and developmentteam, which incorporates Pierson, Sara and John Melin,the company’s president, and Kathi Rennaker, director ofmarketing, as well as heads of manufacturing and others asneeded, is in constant percolation.“I’ll be walking through the plant when someone will drawme aside and tell me we should consider doing a coconutRoca,” Pierson says. “And I’ll tell them to explain this to me, thereasons why, etcetera. And I’ll take it back to the team and we’lldiscuss it.”As it turns out, there are some production challenges withcoconut, but that doesn’t mean the idea is dead. It’ssimply on hold for further review. In theinterim, there are plenty of projects in thepipeline, such as packaging.“We’re always updatingpackaging, developingdifferent package sizes,sometimes for specializedgift baskets and other timescustomized for a retailer,”Sara says.August 2017 CANDY INDUSTRY 23

Next Generation graphic arts students are mentored by Jelly Belly's JanaPerry and Brad Smith of Utah PaperBox.Bill Kelley (holding award) from Jelly Belly is honored for his five yearsof service as Confectionery Foundation vice chairman. (L. to R.)Confectionery Foundation Secretary/Treasurer Katherine Clark,board members Matt Pye and Linda Sahagian, Vice Chairman RobNelson; Bill Kelley, outgoing vice chairman; Chairman Sara Clair andJennifer Burke, Next Gen coordinator.Mentor Guides Laura Bergan of Barry Callebaut and Katherine Clark ofCapol LLC (far left) provide students with a taste of chocolate and itshistory at the Barry Callebaut booth at Sweets & Snacks Expo.But as one would expect from an individual who has bachelor’s and master’sdegrees, Sara’s world extends beyond justproduct development. It also encompasses grass-roots politics, industry involvement and foundation work.One would be remiss in not pointingout Sara and Pierson’s efforts in advocating Initiative 1107, which repealed thestate tax on candy in Washington.“There were a lot of phone calls andmeetings,” she recalls. Six months ofthose, to be exact.Promotion in Motion's Dave Fleischer (back row, right) dons aconfectionery mask with students at the Melville Candy booth.“It was an opportunity to educateand then hope common sense wouldprevail,” Sara explains. It worked; theinitiative to repeal the candy tax passedwith a 60 percent approval rate.Typically, one kind of success givesbirth to another. In this instance, Sara’sinvolvement in Initiative 1107 as wellas her work with the Greater MetroParks Foundation in Tacoma, led towhat many view as one of her crowningachievements. In 2011, then NCAPresident Larry Graham asked Sara tobecome chairman of the newly formedConfectionery Foundation.“The paperwork for the foundationhad just been finalized as a non-profit501(c)(3) non-profit organization,” sherecalls. “Bill Kelley of Jelly Belly wasasked to serve as vice-chairman. Therole of the foundation was still unclear,but we had three main goals: education;philanthropy and research.”Surprisingly, all it took was oneday to determine exactly what thefoundation’s focus should be. AfterAlanna Stillo with Amy Ciaglo, Nicholas Tolzien and Mary Butka from Ferrara Candy (left) and Rick Brindle of Mondelez (right) chat withengineering students during the Career Fair organized by the Confectionery Foundation at Sweets & Snacks Expo.24 CANDY INDUSTRY August 2017W W W. C ANDYINDU STRY.COM

an eight-hour strategic meeting, itwas clear that the industry had jobsthat needed to be filled, but that thereweren’t enough skilled workers to fillthose jobs.“So here it was November, andwe have the largest gathering ofconfectionery companies in theUnited States coming up in May,” sheexplains. “The challenge was how toget young people to come in and learnabout the industry.”The cold-calling of schools beganin earnest. The kitchen table becamecommand central, Pierson recalls.“Sara loves spreadsheets,” he adds.She does and they work for her.At the Sweets & Snacks Expo in2012 — for the first time — there were50 students and faculty representingfour schools. Despite having nofunding, it was an auspicious start forthe Foundation.Now in its sixth year, TheConfectionery Foundation selected100 students and faculty from 23schools across 10 states to learn aboutthe industry during the Sweets &Snacks Expo in May. Twenty of thosestudents were in robotic engineeringprograms, 20 in food science, 15of which were advanced degreeprograms, 30 from culinary schoolsand the remaining from business,marketing, graphics, advertising, andcommunications programs.“These are the kinds of studentswe need to fill jobs in the industry,”she says. This year, the ConfectioneryFoundation’s Next Generationprogram for students visiting Sweets& Snacks Expo — which they do attheir own cost — included a CareerFair. Seven companies — ADM, BarryCallebaut, Elmer Candy Co, FerraraCandy Co., Edward Marc Brands,Lindt North America, and MondelezInternational participated.100 volunteers from the industryact as mentor guides, booth hosts,speakers, and company representativesat the career fair during the Sweets& Snacks Expo, Sara explains. Thestudents are segregated into groupsof seven or fewer matched with anappropriate guide. For example,Katherine Clark from Capol led a groupof food science students while RobNelson from Elmer’s Candy, guidedbusiness students and Mary BethGeraci, Carlin Group, hosted marketing.The student groups typically havetwo booth appointments scheduled inthe morning, which allows them timeSara Clair (far left) and Pierson Clair (top center) join the NationalConfectioner Association's Libby Taylor (front, center) during theWashington Forum last September. (Photo courtesy of Candy & SnackToday)to be guided through the Expo. “Thenthere’s lunch in the briefing room,”she continues. “So, for example, wehad a panel of young professionalsdiscussing the transition in businesscommunication skills from college tothe professional world. Engineeringstudents engaged in discussion withHerm Rowland, Karen Brown and JimGreenberg while others were given avirtual reality tour by Mark Lozano oftna North America.”The Career Fair follows lunch andthen there’s a return to the show f loor.A Thank You reception concludesthe day’s activities, whereby collegestudents mingle and share theirresumes with the mentor guides andother industry professionals.Organizing such an effort withso many moving parts can beoverwhelming. Thank goodnessfor Sara’s love of spreadsheets. The“spreadsheet lady” proudly displaysa color-coded poster board thatSara Clair presents program speakers Anthony Takitani, chairman,Hawaiian Host; Keith Sakamoto, ceo and president, Hawaiian Host; andCharles Morrison, president, East-West Center; with gifts during the2015 Western Candy Conference held in Maui, Hawaii.August 2017 CANDY INDUSTRY 25WWW.C A N D YI N D U S TR Y . CO M

“It’s all aboutthe scientificmethod. Youchange onething at atime andthen sampleit. There areno surprises.”High school robotic students tour the Brown & Haley manufacturing plant with Sara Clair.SARA CLAIR,DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTDEVELOPMENT, BROWN & HALEYdetailed all student and mentor guideactivities during that Wednesdayat the Sweets & Snacks Expo. Eventplanners, take note.Obviously, the ConfectioneryFoundation has come a long way.Sara credits the volunteers, many ofthem executives and leaders in theindustry, who willingly give theirtime. And there’s more to come: theorganization is in the process ofworking with companies to establishinternships and an engineeringscholarship fund and expandingthe map of American candy factorytours and outlets at Naturally, this year’sKettle Awards recipient invites anyonewho’s interested in volunteering tosend her an email at [email protected] intense as is her involvement inthe Confectionery Foundation, she’salso vested in the NCA’s CandyPAC andWashington Forum, urging all candymakers and suppliers to participate.26 CANDY INDUSTRY August 2017WeighPack's 24 head PrimoCombi multi-headweigher with three product mixing weighsproduct before it is bagged.“It’s really an important event wheremembers of our industry can make theirvoices heard in our nation’s capital,” Sarasays. She cites the creation and growth ofthe Candy Caucus (members of Congresswho support legislative issues involvingth