Yummy: Madelaine Chocolate Returns
The holidays are here and Madelaine Chocolate is back. After being knocked out by four feet of water and damage to all of their machinery by Sandy, the 65 year-old company, which went back into production in July, officially reopened this week.
On Tuesday co-owners Jorge Farber (president and CEO) and Norman Gold hosted a ribbon cutting and tour of the factory. Attending the event were company clients, vendors, politicians, community members and members of the Farber and Gold families.
Because the storm occurred at the height of the holiday shipping season, chocolate that was already produced –more than $8 million in inventory – was lost. Total losses, Farber said, were more than $50 million. Even with such a staggering loss, Farber credits those who stayed with the company through the dark days after the storm; employees, family, friends, customers, lenders, community and government officials as the reason the doors are open today. One of those officials is Congressman Gregory Meeks.
“I am pleased to have supported the Rockaway Peninsula’s largest employer, The Madelaine Chocolate Company in its effort to sustain a Small Business Administration loan along with other financial incentives,” Meeks said. Four of 14 production lines are now running, and as more of the lines go back up more employees will be called back. Currently 125 employees of the previous 450 are back at work. The Wave spoke with several of Madelaine’s employees who all agreed they wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else. In the meantime Farber said “We are well on track to meet our limited production goals for this season.”
Farber noted the nearby community as well. “Living in this community, my wife Vivian and I can never forget what Sandy did here and not just to our factory. Many of our employees not only lost their jobs but their place of residence and much of their possessions. Our neighbors were also deeply impacted by this catastrophe, the magnitude of which took us all by surprise.”
Farber vowed the company will come completely back.
Madelaine Chocolate retail store, to be located on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 96th Street by the company’s main building is scheduled to reopen on October 23rd.
Also at the ribbon cutting were State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder.