|Photo by Barry Johnson|
Jacques Torres Chocolate faces its biggest challenge yet — creating another Willy Wonka land of chocolate.
Jacques Torres, founder of his namesake business, has announced plans to expand his chocolate manufacturing facilities after signing a lease at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) in Sunset Park. The 39,500-sq.-ft. space will allow the company to merge its two existing factories in Brooklyn and Manhattan, N.Y.
Torres says the brand’s “Made in New York” reputation, the ability to create new jobs and to operate in a place with historical significance, were attractive factors in the proposal.
“It was exciting for me to find a space that perfectly outfits our growing needs,” he says.
While no construction has been started yet, Jacques Torres Chocolate plans to use a linear production layout, where manufacturing will begin on one side of the space and finish on the other. Layout plans also include a “powder room” where Torres’ hot chocolate mix will be produced.
“The announcement by Jacques Torres represents a vote of confidence in the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Brooklyn’s future as a hub for manufacturing,” says New York City Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kyle Kimball.
Torres predicts a late summer opening for the new facility.
Jacques Torres Chocolate, established in 2000 in New York City, specializes in fresh, handcrafted chocolates, free of preservatives and artificial flavors. There are currently four stores in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn; the Brooklyn store also connects to a seasonal Jacques Torres ice cream shop.