Jackson, MI – The Gilbert Chocolates company will move their production facility back to downtown Jackson, Michigan this year, just a few hundred feet from the location of the original factory, founded by John O. Gilbert in 1900.
Brian and Sally Krichbaum, current owners of Gilbert Chocolates, purchased the vacant building at 233 North Jackson Street at the end of March, and have started working with contractors and Jackson’s Neighborhood and Economic Operations Department to prepare the building for a grand opening later this year.
“We are bringing a bit of history back to downtown Jackson,” explained Krichbaum. The vacant building was previously occupied by a restaurant, and prior to that, CH Hamler Co.
The legacy of Gilbert Chocolates has been preserved through the years by people who believe in the same quality standards as Gilbert himself. When Gilbert died in the 1960’s, Helga Austin purchased the company, and moved the production operations to its current location on Ackerson Lake Drive. Original recipes developed by the founder are still produced there, and will continue at the new location later this year.
The new facility will undergo extensive remodeling and renovation work in the coming weeks, including restoring the original hardwood floor, restoring the front façade, and building custom-made candy cabinets.
Their Ackerson Lake Drive location has been producing tens of thousands of pounds of chocolate candy each year in only 800 square feet of space, shipping orders across the country every day.
The downtown location will have 2,200 square feet of manufacturing space, 2,000 square feet of non-perishable storage space, and retail space of 800 square feet. The retail space will be larger than either of the existing Gilbert Chocolate retail stores, currently located at Jackson Crossing Mall and Meridian Mall in Lansing.
“We have people reminiscing all the time about how their relatives used to work downtown at Gilbert Chocolates, or how they visited the candy store there when they were very young. We are looking forward to bringing that experience back,” Krichbaum said. The business also plans to offer factory tours, with the capacity of up to 30 people touring the facility at a time.
“Gilbert Chocolates is committed to Jackson. Our employees and their families live here. We purchase our ingredients from Dawn Foods, another iconic Jackson Company. Anderson Printing makes our inserts, our candy wrappers, and our flavor guides. Polly Food Stores sell our candy and sells us other ingredients that our customers love to see covered in our fine chocolates,” he said.
ABOUT GILBERT CHOCOLATES
Gilbert Chocolates was founded in Jackson, Michigan in 1900 and has been producing fine chocolates ever since. They still use the tried and true recipes that made Gilbert Chocolates the Best Chocolate in Michigan. For more information, visit https://www.GilbertChocolates.com or contact Sally Krichbaum at 517-764-3141.