Sunset Park now has its own Willy Wonka.
Chocolatier Jacques Torres, who moved the manufacturing space for his famous chocolates to a 40,000-square-foot space in the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal about three years ago, celebrated the official grand opening of the of Jacques Torres Chocolate Factory on Friday, February 12, just two days before its busiest day, Valentine’s Day.
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Maria Torres-Springer was in attendance during the conference and tour of the new digs, along with Councilmember Carlos Menchaca.
“I don’t think there’s any better way to kick off the Valentine’s Day weekend than with him. He is, in our opinion, the most famous chocolatier in New York City,” said Torres-Springer. “The fact that he is calling this 4,000-square-foot facility home is amazing to us at EDC. We truly believe that it’s here where the magic happens.”
Torres-Springer noted the history of the massive space as well as its promising future.
“This is a property that once served as the country’s largest military supply base through World War II,” she added. “Today, after all that tremendous history, it’s really the crown jewel of the city’s industrial properties in Sunset Park. It is a place where New Yorkers of all backgrounds and skill levels come to create the world’s next great innovation.”
For Torres, the city’s help was invaluable in making the move.
“EDC really stepped up and made it easy for us to move to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. When we came and looked at this building and felt the history, presence and soul of this place, our decision was made in five minutes. We really wanted to move here,” he said. “It’s perfect for what we do with manufacturing. The floors are strong enough for our big machines. We can run 24/7. We have big freight elevators. We can’t find a place better than here so we are so happy to be here.”
Torres’ chocolate business began 15 years ago in a small space in Dumbo. He then expanded in Manhattan. Today, there are nine stores, with another store planned to open in the space now that the factory has officially been completed.
Menchaca was impressed with the tour and sees the factory as a benefit for young Sunset Park residents.
“I’m thinking of the young people in Sunset Park right now that are eventually going to be able to come and do tours and see you in action,” he said. “This community is in so many ways going through so many changes and we’re feeling it. The promise of jobs and commitment from EDC is real and you’ve heard the numbers. We are growing and that’s going to continue.”
“Congratulations to him and his team who have made this facility home and created an amazing presence as part of the Sunset Park ecosystem,” added Torres-Springer.
The Jacques Torres Chocolate Factory is located at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (140 58th Street, Building B, Sixth Floor).