Press Release: 04.01.2014

McCarthy Completes Construction of MARS Chocolate North America Plant

Employee-owned McCarthy, one of America’s premier construction companies, has completed construction of the new Mars Chocolate North America plant in Topeka, Kan. The plant is the first new Mars Chocolate North America site in the United States in the last 35 years.  

The completion of the roughly 500,000-square-foot facility also represents McCarthy’s first completion of a Kansas project since 1991. The total cost of the project was $270 million, including $195 million in construction costs. McCarthy constructed the project in a joint venture relationship with MC Industrial, Inc., an independent McCarthy company dedicated to the highly specialized needs of the industrial marketplace.

“For Mars Chocolate North America, having McCarthy’s construction and industrial expertise under one roof added project efficiencies that got the plant to full production in record time. We’re excited to have worked with Mars to achieve such a successful project,” said Scott Wittkop, president of McCarthy’s Central Division.

“For the last 100 years, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them,” said Bret Spangler, Mars Chocolate North America Topeka site director. “This new facility, in America’s heartland, is a further demonstration of our commitment to make products for the U.S. market in the United States. This state-of-the-art facility will help to fuel the growth of our business by increasing capacity and flexibility to meet the demands of consumers for the next 50 years.” 

The new facility will produce SNICKERS® chocolate bars and M&M’S® chocolate candies.

Construction of the plant, located in the Kanza Fire Commerce Park on U.S. Highway 75, began in September 2011. The construction involved more than 1.2 million man hours, with no time lost due to injuries.

“McCarthy was a collaborative partner who worked closely with Mars to optimize critical work streams within the project scope.  As a result, the project team saved significant time enabling an expedited start-up,” said Louis Hemmelgarn, Mars Chocolate North America Topeka project engineering manager.

The state-of-the art facility was built to meet leading-edge environmental standards, and will pursue LEED certification, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability.

The project also was a catalyst for St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies to establish a Kansas City office in April 2013.

About McCarthy
For 150 years, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has been building communities across America, both by constructing essential projects communities rely on, as well as by helping those who need assistance. The company is committed to the construction of high performance green buildings; progressive job site technology; and safer, faster and more cost-effective execution. In addition to Kansas City, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Albuquerque; and Collinsville, Ill. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company’s history is available by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

About Mars Chocolate North America
Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated.  In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

About Mars, Incorporated
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints.  Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA® and  WISDOM PANEL®. For more information, visit

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