Madelaine Chocolate Gets $250,000 Grant From National Grid
Madelaine Chocolate Company became the first grant recipient of National Grid’s $30 million Sandy Relief Fund on February 12th when the gas company presented them with money that would start them on the road to rebuilding their company and bringing back their 450 employees.
“After the 29th [of October] we came to a standstill, and we had very limited resources at that time, in how we were going to, and if we were going to, bring this back into production,” said Jorge Farber, the president, CEO and co-owner of the company. He added, “This grant by National Grid is the first substantial outside grant and resources we have received. It’s a very concrete first step because it helps us rehabilitate one of over 14 molding lines that produce chocolates on a daily basis.”
The grant is part of a $30 million economic development program for customers in New York City and Long Island who were impacted by the October storm.
“We wanted to make Madelaine Chocolates the first of the grants and we choose this week. How better to celebrate Valentine’s Day than giving a grant to a chocolate factory,” said Ken Daly, the New York president for National Grid.
Before superstorm Sandy, Madelaine Chocolates produced more than 100,000 pounds of chocolate a day.
“Out of the 14 lines, this money will go towards the restoration of one of our major lines that we will be able to produce chocolate from,” explained Farber, who added “we probably could do a good 10 to 12,000 pounds a day on this one line.”
The grant money will go toward rehabilitating one of the company’s newer and most versatile lines – the Imperial Line.
“We can mold all kinds of different shapes for either the same holiday or for different holidays,” said Scott Wright, the chief administrative officer. “That flexibility that the Imperial Line gives us is the reason this is the highest priority machine and why this money is so helpful.”
In addition to restoring the machinery that molds the chocolate, other machinery, such as those that foil and package the candy, need to be restored as well. But the company does hope to be producing chocolate on the Imperil Line by summer. That would enable them to have candy to their retail customers for Halloween.
The company was founded by co-owner Norman Gold’s family in 1949 and is nationally and internationally known.