Christine Lantinen, owner of Maud Borup Inc., lives to work. The Plymouth resident bought the 113-year-old candy company with St. Paul origins in 2005 and never looked back.
Lantinen began working 20-hour weeks as a server at the American Legion in her hometown of Le Center at age 13. She served in the U.S. Army and then attended Minnesota State University-Mankato. She began her food sales and marketing career at Target Corporation and Bay Island. Seizing a unique opportunity to purchase Maud Borup, she turned the once-small-storefront based retailer into a wholesaler, and sales exploded. “We’re looked at as an innovator, and we have the flexibility to do what larger companies would consider ‘smaller’ runs,” Lantinen says.
Though Maud Borup’s origins are in chocolate, Lantinen’s push for innovation resulted in a wide variety of unique new products, including Fizzy Drink Bombs™, which she describes as “a bath bomb for your drink”—producing flavor, color and bubbles in both kid-friendly versions and adult versions for Champagne. Maud Borup’s line also includes giftable gourmet cotton candy, gummies, baking mixes and snacks sold at retailers nationwide.
Lantinen takes pride in the company’s certified woman- and veteran-owned business statuses. Throughout its history, Maud Borup has remained local, with its corporate office based in Plymouth and 150-employee factory based in Le Center since 2013 The factory is powered by a 100-foot wind turbine. “Sustainability is a core value to us— we are always trying to find ways to be better for the environment,” Lantinen says. She identifies a push for even more sustainable packaging as a goal for the immediate future.
Though not Maud Borup’s founder, Lantinen has kept the company’s family-based tradition alive, employing her husband and mother. Lantinen laughs, “We’re a family-owned business, but it was reverse engineered—I hired my mom!”