Monthly Archives July 2016

New location for Wilbur Chocolate Store – Reading Eagle

Cargill Inc. announced Thursday that it will begin renovations to a new long-term location for its Wilbur chocolate store in Lititz, Lancaster County.

The new store would be located at 45 N. Broad St., directly across from its current location as part of the iconic factory, which closed earlier this year.

It will be in the old Freeze & Frizz Drive-In, which closed this year.

The approximately 3,000 square foot store will employ approximately 20 full and part time employees.

Cargill intends to lease the building, said Pete Stoddardt, Cargill’s director of media relations.

“It’s going to be very Wilbur-centric when it’s done,” Stoddard said.

Cargill hopes to open the new store just before the 2016 Lititz Chocolate March on October 8.

Like the original store, the new location will feature historic artifacts from Wilbur and the confectionery industry, a kitchen where visitors can view handcrafted candies with Wilbur chocolate, and a selection of merchandise including the popular Wilbur buds.

Meanwhile, the company will continue to serve clients at its existing location at 48 N. Broad St. This property has been on the market since March and the company continues to seek a buyer for the property.

“With the sale of the Cargill building underway, we have decided to relocate the store now to ensure we remain a central part of the downtown Lititz shopping district,” said Amy Weik, specialist sales manager at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.

Cargill, which acquired Wilbur in 1992 for $ 51 million, ceased production at the plant on January 25, ending Wilbur’s 113-year history of making chocolate in downtown Lititz.

The end of production cut the jobs of around 130 hourly and salaried workers. Another 30 employees in administrative positions were offered jobs at Cargill offices in Minneapolis or Milwaukee.

The majority of the work has been transferred to facilities in Hazleton, Luzerne County, Milwaukee and Ontario. Other jobs will be sent to factories on West Lincoln Avenue in Lititz and Mount Joy in Lancaster County, about 12 miles southwest of Lititz.

Cargill also has a retail warehouse in Elizabethtown.

Across Pennsylvania, Cargill employs approximately 2,200 people.

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Wilbur Chocolate Store in Lititz moves across the street to the former Freeze & Frizz space | Local company

The Wilbur Chocolate Store, an iconic store and museum outside a now inactive factory in downtown Lititz, is moving across the street.

The relocation, announced Thursday by Wilbur Chocolate owner Cargill, has garnered praise from community leaders.

Cargill said the store will move to a 3,000 square foot building at 45 N. Broad St., most recently housing the Freeze & Frizz ice cream shop.

Before that, the space housed the Long & Bomberger hardware store. The Bomberger family owns the building.

Cargill said the Wilbur chocolate store, now in roughly the same size of space at 48 N. Broad St., will move “just before” the Lititz Chocolate Walk on Saturday, October 8.

“It’s great that we can keep it downtown,” said Karen Weibel, president of Lititz city council.

Mayor Tim Snyder said: “I am just delighted.”

“They have always been an asset and a keystone of the city center. So it’s very, very important to retain them, ”said Kelly Withum, executive director of Venture Lititz, a nonprofit that advocates for a vibrant downtown.

In addition to attracting downtown shoppers, the Wilbur store is part of the downtown appeal as a “foodie” destination, she said.

Cargill’s decision to lease the empty store benefits from a practical vacation.

If Cargill had waited until the Wilbur complex was sold and the complex buyer forced the store to move, who knows what might have been available?

“… (We) have decided to move the store now to make sure we remain a central part of the downtown Lititz shopping district,” Cargill Project Manager Amy Weik said in a prepared statement.

Pete Stoddart, Cargill’s director of media relations, declined to comment on whether the sprawling resort attracted any deals.

As for the store, its workforce in the new location will be the same as it is today – 20 employees, he said. (It now has 17 employees; Cargill is looking to hire three more.)

Before the store moves, however, Cargill will be renovating its new location, putting up a new facade and “refreshing” the interior, Stoddart said. He refused to disclose the cost of the work.

Doug Bomberger, owner of the building, declined to comment on the store’s arrival.

According to Cargill, the characteristics of the Wilbur Chocolate Store will remain unchanged at its new location.

It will still sell Wilbur Buds and other merchandise, have a kitchen where candy is handcrafted with Wilbur chocolate in plain view of visitors, and display artifacts from Wilbur and the confectionery industry.

Cargill closed the plant in January, cutting the jobs of about 100 employees. Wilbur made chocolate in downtown Lititz for 113 years.

The Lititz Chocolate Walk is a fundraiser, organized by the Lititz Kiwanis Club, for charities focused on children.

Attendees buy tickets to eat chocolate treats – many made with Wilbur chocolate – at more than 25 downtown locations.

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