This past Valentine’s Day marked an important milestone for Jacques Torres Chocolates: they celebrated the opening of a brand new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Valentine’s Day is the biggest single day of the year for purchasing chocolates. On that day alone the company sold close to 300 tons of tasty chocolate, 10 percent of that amount coming from Torres’ Sunset Park facility.
“I’m infected by your love and passion for chocolate, for manufacturing,” said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who is the representative of the neighborhood where Torres’ chocolates are produced. “This is something beyond the sum of its parts and you are bringing that to Sunset Park and we are lucky to have you.”
Torres, who began his company 50 years ago in nearby DUMBO says he will stick to hiring local residents for his new facility.
“Everybody that built this place from our contractor Dominic, to the electrician, to the plumber, everybody is from the neighborhood,” Torres said.
The new chocolate manufacturing plant is only just the beginning of big changes to come to the Sunset Park area and the Brooklyn Army Terminal in particular. There has been over $100 million invested in the industrial complex by the Economic Development Corporation with the goal of injecting the area with about 2,000 new jobs.
“What Sunset Park is becoming is really the epicenter of New York City’s manufacturing renaissance,” said EDC President Maria Torres-Springer.