CLICK HERE to see Kansas First News’ exclusive interview with Debra Sandler, the president of Mars Chocolate North America.
“It’s a very special day for mars chocolate as well as the community.”
Site Manager, Bret Spangler says he’s excited about the grand opening.
With a flip of a switch the machines turned on and production officially begins
It’s all a product from nearly 3 years of construction.
The near 500 thousand square foot mars chocolate plant is the first one built in the united states in 35 years.
1 of 10 in the country.
But why Topeka?
President of Mars Chocolate, Debra Sandler says it was a perfect fit.
“We looked at over 70 sites potential sites. There are many sites that qualify with respect to access to rail, access to highways. We definitely live off five principals everyday: quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom. When we came to Topeka we saw so much of that and we felt very comfortable here and Topekans have not let us down. ”
An expected 6 million snickers and 69 million individual M&M brand candies will be made per day.
That will be shipped primarily in the United States.
Economically, this plant brings a sweet boost to the state.
Officials like Spangler say, the near 200 jobs they promised have been filled but they’re looking to hire more in the near future.
“We got to prove what we can do before we just yet then we can start talking about the future of what we can do but I can tell you it looks very exciting from where I stand.”
270 million spent on this facility and officials say that it was money well spent.
** The Topeka M&M store that will be opening tomorrow morning will feature some “Made in Topeka” logo merchandise. All profits from these specially marked items will benefit the Downtown Topeka Redevelopment Plan.