Dartmouth chocolate factory closes

It's the end of the line for hundreds of workers at the Moirs chocolate factory in Dartmouth.

It's the end of the line for hundreds of workers at the Moirs chocolate factory in Dartmouth.

The Hershey-owned plant is closing Friday, marking the end of a 200-year-old candy-making tradition in the region.

On Friday, the workers who made Pot of Gold boxed chocolates are expected to gather for a final farewell.

"They held me in a job for 27 years," Gail Bezzanson told CBC News Thursday, the last production day at the plant. "Now I'm just waiting on the government to see if they are going to help finance a career for me."

The candy-makingbusiness goes back to 1815, when Scottish immigrant James Moir started making candy in his bakery. The Pot of Gold brand was introduced in 1928.

U.S.-based Hershey took over the plant 20 years ago.

The factory faced uncertain times over the years. But in May, the candy giant announced it was closing its last Canadian plant, putting 580 people out of work.

Hershey said the Dartmouth operation was running at less than one-third of its capacity and it would shift production to Mexico to cut costs.

After 33 years at the plant, Janet Teriault now has to start a new chapter in her life.

"I started there [when] I was only 16," she said. "Am I sad? Yes. Because they're taking our Canadian product."

Workers are being offered retraining opportunities and severance packages, the details of which are covered under a confidentiality agreement with Hershey.

Though Bezzanson is looking forward to a new job, she's reluctant to give details.

"I don't want to get my hopes up for a downfall," she said.