A Canadian chocolate maker is coming to North Texas—and it’s sweetening its production line with some innovative technology.
After maxing out production capacity in the Vancouver area, Chewters Chocolates—a maker of organic, low-sugar treats best known for its brand ChocXO—is expanding operations with a new chocolate manufacturing facility in Rockwall. The new plant will include “advanced manufacturing and automation equipment,” the company says.
“Exceptional companies are flocking to the Lone Star State because of our world-class business climate and unmatched, highly skilled, diverse workforce,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Chewters Chocolates’ expansion into Texas is a major boon for our economy and the hardworking people of Rockwall.”
Facility to bring 120 jobs to the area
Expecting to break ground by year’s end, Chewters plans to invest more than $40 million to develop a 189,000 square-foot facility on a 10.6-acre plot of land in the Rockwall Technology Park. In a move that’s expected to create 120 jobs, plans include up to four “state-of-the-art” production lines pumping out chocolate treats, along with warehousing and office space.
A retail store and glass ‘viewing hall’ for Rockwall’s chocolate lovers
In addition to boosting its production capabilities, the new facility will help Chewters do contract manufacturing for a number of North American clients. The confectioner sees its new facility as a place for the Rockwall community, and plans to include a retail store and a glass viewing hall for self-guided tours.
X-ray inspections and advanced checkweighting
Earlier this year, Chewters announced a “major investment” in production technology including in areas like X-ray inspections and checkweighting at its 55,000 square-foot British Columbia facility. That plant is capable of producing 15,000 metric tonnes annually, according to Confectionary News. The company serves clients across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Phil Wagner, president of the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation, believes Chewters will be a sweet addition to Rockwall’s economy.
“First and foremost, their investment will serve to broaden the tax base for the city, county and school district—helping ensure we can continue to have high-quality governmental services in Rockwall without all of the tax burden being placed on local residents,” Wagner said in a statement. “Beyond that, the retail store and plant tours Chewters will provide will bring a public element to the Tech Park that we’ve never had before.”
Building out U.S. production
Chewters CEO Richard Foley said the company chose DFW for its newest location in part due to its central geographic location for manufacturing and distribution that will allow it to better serve U.S. customers.
Selecting Rockwall for the new facility appears to have been an easy choice. According to the company, after the Rockwall EDC responded to a request for proposals put out by Chewters in January, Foley was already touring the site and signing an express letter of interest by the end of March.
Earlier this year, Chewters tapped Fort Worth design-build firm DB Constructors to build the manufacturing plant. Currently under design as the company awaits engineering and site plan approval, Chewters expects the facility to be fully operational by the beginning of 2024.
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