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Bloomington awaits groundbreaking for $75 million Ferrero chocolate factory


BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - The City of Bloomington is celebrating construction of a chocolate factory with a groundbreaking ceremony this coming week.

In November of last year, international candy maker Ferrero announced its plant at 2501 Beich Road would be the site of Ferrero's first North American chocolate factory. It has two chocolate-making factories in Europe.

The maker of Nutella and other sweet treats is investing $75 million for expanding its current facility in Bloomington, and it plans on hiring 50 more workers.

The Italian firm chose Bloomington over prospective sites in Canada and Mexico after area governments offered tax breaks. Local officials decided to include Ferrero in the region's enterprise zone, which meant the company would not have to pay local and state taxes on building materials.

The groundbreaking ceremony is Wednesday morning. Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe is expected to be on hand along with Ferrero North America's President and Chief Business Officer Todd Siwak, and Sylvia Garcia, who's acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Ferrero, the third largest confectionary company in the world, acquired the Bloomington plant when it bought Nestle's candy business in January 2018.

Howard Packowitz

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