WEST LOOP — While the Blommer retail store is closing up shop next month, the sweet aroma of chocolate wafting through the West Loop — and the surrounding area — won’t be going anywhere.
Earlier this week, the company announced it would be closing the Bloomer retail store at 600 W. Kinzie St. on Feb. 28, prompting residents to wonder about the chocolate smell that lingers in the air.
Stacey Kidd, a spokeswoman for the company, confirmed it would continue manufacturing chocolate at the site.
“The smell will continue,” Kidd said in an email.
The closing of the retail store will make way for an expansion of the facility.
“In the coming year, we will begin updating and refreshing the Chicago facility including several enhancements in and around the plant,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.
“Blommer is excited about the changes ahead as a growth opportunity for our employees, our neighbors and the Chicago community,” company officials said.
Kidd declined to answer questions regarding plans around the site.
The chocolate aroma has long fascinated Chicagoans and visitors alike. In 2014, DNAinfo spoke with Ian Petchenik, who started tracking where Chicagoans can smell the Bloomer Chocolate factory each day.
Petchenik said the map began as a joke after an out-of-town friend mentioned that she noticed the chocolate smell that permeates the air along the Chicago River.
The site was last updated in 2015.
In 2018, Japanese company Fuji Holdings signed a $750 million deal to buy Blommer and its manufacturing operations in the West Loop.
As part of the acquisition, Fuji Oil, which supplies oils, fats, confectionery and bakery ingredients, will take over operations and manufacturing of Blommer’s three U.S. locations, its Canadian operations and its Chinese operations.
Founded in 1939, Blommer has been family-owned for three generations. The chocolate producer is the third-largest industrial chocolate producer and fifth-largest cocoa bean processor.
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