Mars Chocolate Plans State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility in Topeka

The Martians are coming! And it’s great news for Topeka.  Today Mars Chocolate North America announced plans to build a new state-of-the art $250-million manufacturing facility here in Topeka.   The announcement was made in Topeka by Mike Wittman, Vice President of Supply at Mars Chocolate North America, and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on the campus of Washburn University. The new facility will be the first new Chocolate site built in the U.S. in thirty-five years.

“We are excited to announce our plan to construct this new manufacturing site in Topeka,” said Wittman. “The site will be a reflection of our commitment to manufacture our products in the markets where we sell them. Mars looks forward to becoming an important part of the Topeka community.”

The project is expected to deliver 200 full-time jobs to the city when the first phase of the project is completed in 2013. Subsequent phases of development will then expand the capacity of the facility, and more product lines will be added.

The construction site is the Kanza Fire Commerce Park, which was developed by Go Topeka, a subsidiary of the Topeka Chamber of Commerce. 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 is, of course, extremely positive economic news for Topeka and the surrounding communities, and the impact of the project will positively affect the city for decades to come.

**About Mars Chocolate North America**

Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated. In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.

**Taken from Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce “Special Announcement”**