Orange, Calif.-based Merlex Stucco is celebrating 50 years in business this year. The manufacturer is a family-owned and -operated business built from the Midwestern tenacity of its founder, Merle VerBurg, who opened its door in 1963 taking over the historic Olive Hillside Groves packing plant.

In 1992, VerBurg passed away after suffering from ALS and his daughter Susan VerBurg took over the company and has carried on his legacy ever since. Since then, the company continues to grow: sales have doubled, the staff has increased, new products have been formulated, and the subsidiary Vero, which offers high-end Venetian plaster products was founded.

Merlex has been part of the community for so many years and have been an integral part of the area’s growth, including donating its time to Olive Elementary’ s tutoring program and nurturing relationships with the citizens of Olive as well as the surrounding businesses.

An anniversary celebration takes place on Thursday, March 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and includes plant tours, a food truck, giveaways and more.