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The Puyallup Tribe announced last week that it is entering the $2 billion confectionery industry with the purchase of Fife, Wash.-based candy maker AMES International Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

The tribe, one of the largest employers in Pierce County, plans to invest in AMES and help the company expand operations. The tribe also hopes to create new jobs for tribal members at the company, according to a statement. 

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AMES International was founded in 1987 by George Paulose. The company is known for its Emily's Chocolates & Nuts brand, which features a variety of chocolates, nuts, and other confections. AMES also makes and sells gourmet tea.

"This acquisition is a great opportunity for the Puyallup Tribe to expand our business into a new industry," Bill Sterud, chairman of the Puyallup Tribal Council, said in a statement. "We're also excited to help keep a local company in business and create new jobs for our members."

The acquisition is the latest in a series of economic development initiatives by the Puyallup Tribe since 2020, when it opened its new $400 million Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. 

In 2021, the Tribe announced a partnership with Amazon on a sort center, opened the EQC hotel in Tacoma, launched the BetMGM @ EQC sportsbook and opened a fourth Commencement Bay Cannabis store. 

In 2022, the Tribe announced partnerships with Kenmore Air to operate a seaplane service and with celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi to open a Native-inspired international cuisine waterfront restaurant.

In 2023, the Tribe launched its own international logistics company, Tahoma Global Logistics, and broke ground on a new Tribal Administration building.