Business

Broker: Potential buyers sweet on Cero's

If the interest of potential buyers is an indication, Cero's Candies will remain open, says the broker handling its sale.

The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas said in September that it was looking for a new owner for the 125-year-old candy company.

Steve Fischer of VR Business Brokers said he has received "an incredible amount of phone calls" about Cero's since taking on the listing a couple of weeks ago.

"Cero's is a part of the Wichita community that people want to see continue," Fischer said.

"Everybody wants to keep it going as Cero's."

He said his firm was in the process of fielding phone calls and hadn't started marketing the business through usual channels. Fischer wouldn't release the sales price. He can be reached through VR Business Brokers' Wichita office at 316-262-8722.

"The response has just been amazing," with the majority of calls coming from local people, he said.

The Mental Health Association bought Cero's in 2000 and used it to train and employ people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. But employers are more willing to hire those with mental illnesses now, and the association has decided to focus its resources on treatment, prevention and advocacy.

The association said it planned to be out of the candy business by the end of the year.

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