Candy-filled eggs help protect local jobs

Staff Writer
Lake Sun Leader
Lake Sun Leader

Over the next three weeks, Dierbergs will attempt to sell 3.5 million colorful eggs filled with wrapped candy across all 25 locations.  While an unusual time of year to see plastic eggs on the shelves, the effort is being made to assist American Carnival Mart (ACM), a small, local, fourth-generation family business, get back on their feet. 

The COVID-19 impact to business closures and event cancellations proved detrimental this year to American Carnival Mart, a Creve Coeur, Missouri based business, which depends on Easter egg sales each spring to support their business throughout the year.  Additionally, ACM partners with Canterbury Enterprises, a local sheltered workshop, employing people with disabilities in St. Louis County and City, to fill these eggs with wrapped candy each year for ACM.

To help both of these operations, Dierbergs Markets will be selling eggs filled with wrapped candy in stores from Tuesday, June 16th, to Tuesday, July 7th.  “We would appreciate the community’s help toward keeping these individuals employed and a local business in operation,” said Bob Dierberg, Chairman, Dierbergs Markets.  “Dierbergs will absorb any freight and labor expense so all proceeds of the eggs will go directly back to ACM and Canterbury Enterprises.”  There are two sizes available.  A 50 count package is priced at $6.50 and a 77 count package is $8.99.

“ACM has been devastated by the COVID-19 shut down,” said Mark Haug, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at American Carnival Mart. “Easter eggs are almost 50% of our business. We were on track to set another record in sales throughout the United States which came to a quick halt when egg hunts were cancelled throughout the country.” In addition to Easter business, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring and Summer Carnival and St. Louis souvenir business  was lost due to the virus outbreak this spring.

Canterbury Enterprises relies on the wrapped candy-filled egg business from ACM year-round to help employ more than 90 individuals with disabilities.  “Our ‘Easter Bunny Helpers’ love filling the Easter eggs, taking pride in what they do every day and look forward to their job,” said Charlie Fischer, Executive Director for Canterbury Enterprises.  “We have provided reliable and safe employment for people with disabilities for more than 35 years. Filling these eggs is a big part of their work each year.  Losing these sales means there are no eggs to fill for the 2021 season, meaning we may be forced to lay off up to half of our employees. We are hoping to support them any way we can.”

 “We are thankful for this opportunity with Dierbergs,” Haug said.  “With the right imagination, these candy-filled eggs can be enjoyed beyond Easter weekend. These can provide a fun activity to keep kids entertained with summer treasure hunts for Father’s Day, Fourth of July or any special event.”