Today, vegan candy brand Smarties Candy Company is celebrating its 70-year anniversary along with the 95th birthday of founder Edward Dee. In 1949, Dee—a third-generation candymaker—brought his family from England to New Jersey to start the animal-free candy company, which now boasts 200 employees and produces more than two billion Smarties candy rolls annually. “Smarties Candy Company is more than just our livelihood, it’s part of our family’s legacy,” Dee said. “Celebrating 70 years of candy-making is something I am so proud to be able to do, with my granddaughters by my side.” The company is now operated by Dee’s three granddaughters: Jessica Dee Sawyer, Sarah Dee, and Liz Dee—the latter of which founded female empowerment organization Vegan Ladyboss. “I am so honored to be able to work alongside my family every day, producing an iconic treat that has brought joy to many generations,” Liz Dee said. “Smarties is a true representation of an American dream, and it’s a joy to be able to continue the work that my grandfather started.” Last year, Smarties underwent a brand refresh with newly designed packaging that appeals to younger consumers and creating visually driven Instagram campaigns.

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