Topeka, KS: Mars Chocolate North America broke ground for a new state-of-the art manufacturing facility at the Kanza Fire Commerce Park in Topeka, KS. The festive event marks the launch of the first phase of the project, during which Mars expects to invest more than $250MM and create approximately 200 full time jobs.
Over 400 people attended the groundbreaking including Todd Lachman, President of Mars Chocolate Latin America and North America, Victoria Mars from the Mars family and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
The official groundbreaking swiftly follows Mars' recent announcement to invest in US manufacturing to meet the growing demand for its iconic confectionery products, including M&M'S and Snickers. The 350,000 sq. foot facility is the first Mars Chocolate site built in the US in thirty-five years.
"This new site represents Mars' commitment to manufacturing in the United States for the US market," says Todd Lachman. "We are proud to create jobs in America's heartland and are honored to partner with the Topeka community for years to come."
"The opportunities afforded through this state-of-the-art facility mean new jobs and ongoing economic growth. This is a boon for Topeka and the state of Kansas and we look forward to building a sweet future with Mars," says Governor Brownback.
The new facility will be built to meet leading-edge environmental standards, and will pursue a LEED Gold Certified designation upon completion, demonstrating Mars' commitment to sustainability.
"This ground breaking represents the beginning of exceptional economic opportunities for the residents of Topeka and Shawnee County. We are proud to include Mars among the list of employers who have made their home here and look forward to the progress to come," says Doug Kinsinger, GO Topeka and Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.