Blommer Chocolate to close its Chicago factory with the loss of 250 jobs

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Blommer's historic factory in Chicago. Pic: Blommer Chocolate Company
Blommer's historic factory in Chicago. Pic: Blommer Chocolate Company

Related tags Blommer chocolate Cocoa Chocolate

The company has announced it will close its Chicago factory, ending 85 years of chocolate manufacturing in the city with the loss of 250 jobs.

In a statement, the company said, “As Blommer continues to evolve its business strategy to provide our customers with great products at a great value, the decision has been made to close the Chicago manufacturing facility."

The plant opened in 1939, but Bloomer said the location and age of the facility, coupled with increasing repair and maintenance of the building and equipment, has elevated operating costs and created production reliability issues.

ConfectioneryNews understands the factory will close at the end of May, resulting in the loss of 250 jobs. Overall, Blommer employs approximately 900 people and is North America's largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier.

At its peak, the Chicago facility produced over 200 million pounds of chocolate annually.

Challenging decision

“It was an incredibly challenging yet inevitable decision to close the Chicago plant. However, to propel Blommer to the next level, we must embrace progress, transformation, and elevation,” said Mark Okita, Blommer’s Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Commercial.

“Our planned expansion to the Campbellford, Canada operation is the next step toward our transformation. This marks a new chapter for Blommer and our customers. It is imperative that we challenge ourselves aggressively to ensure that this becomes the best chapter yet.”

Blommer Chocolate Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Oil Holdings, North America's largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier.

Research & Development Centre

Its corporate headquarters, Applications Lab, and New Research & Development Centre will remain in downtown Chicago at the Merchandise Mart to continue the Blommer Chicago legacy.

Fuji also said it will invest further in R&D by expanding its lab capabilities. It will support future development, concept testing, processing and ingredient research, continued application evaluation, and creation to enhance the customer experience.

According to its statement, Blommer will invest $100 million over the next several years in its three remaining production facilities: East Greenville, PA, Union City, CA, and Campbellford, Ontario.

“One of the major factors in the Blommer transformation is expanding our service to the specialty confectionery coating business by investing in the Campbellford facility,” said Neil Fulton, Campbellford's General Manager.

The company confirmed it will invest $60 million to make this facility one of the largest confectionery coating manufacturing facilities in North America. The additional capacity will come online in April 2026.

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