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Don Todrin & Fred Seibert

54 & 50, founders of True Confections Inc. in Amherst, Massachusetts
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Description: Niche marketer of entertainment-licensed chocolate and candies

Start-up: About $200,000 in 1999

Sales: Projected 2002 sales of $3 million to $4 million

Bar none: Despite the triumvirate Nestle, Hershey and Mars, Todrin and Seibert sought a share of the $20 billion candy market. Contends Todrin, "[Those companies] are so committed to their standardized products that, to an extent, it leaves an opportunity for originality and creativity."

I think icon: Entertainment icons ranging from the long-familiar Scooby Doo and Spider-Man to the more recent SpongeBob SquarePants and Lord of the Rings characters can be found on the wrappers of True Confections' treats, in addition to the company's successful PMS and Handyman lines.

Candymen at work: Because Seibert's rap sheet lists him as former head of Hanna-Barbera and Nickelodeon online as well as MTV's original creative director, Todrin listens to him when it comes to what's hot. "Being a small business, we can jump right on something," says Todrin. "We take advantage of exciting and explosive trends."

Confectious charms: The candy's sold mostly in novelty, gift and fashion chains for $1.39 to $1.99. "We're not really selling chocolate bars," says Todrin. "We're selling entertainment impulse items. Our products possess the 'I gotta have that' syndrome."

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Edition: May 2017

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