Ferrara Candy Co. will relocate from Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., to the long-vacant Old Post Office in downtown Chicago next summer.
Ferrara’s new headquarters will occupy approximately 77,000 sq. ft. in the building at 433 W. Van Buren St. The building has been vacant since 1996, but owner 601W Cos. is spending more than $800 million to renovate the space, The Chicago Tribunereported.
Ferrara CEO Todd Siwak said moving downtown from Chicago’s western suburbs gives the company access to the city’s top talent across many business segments.
“As we planned our move downtown, we sought a workspace that could accommodate our continued growth and help us build a highly differentiated and meaningful employee experience that allows us to continue to attract, retain and inspire best-in-class talent,” he said. “The Old Post Office will be more than just a workspace — it will be a destination, and one that is consistent with the brand, culture and community we are building at Ferrara.”
Salvatore Ferrara founded the company in 1908, selling candy-coated almonds from his bakery in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. Ferrero Group acquired the company in October 2017, not long before acquiring Nestlé’s U.S. confectionery business.
Siwak toldCandy Industry in May that the former Nestlé brands are a good match for Ferrara’s expertise.
“Generally the portfolio itself is highly complementary. As an entity that’s exclusively focused on confection — this is what we do, this is what we own unapologetically — we’re anxious to ensure the right level of investment and support behind the brands,” he said.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrated the move, pointing to Ferrara’s strong ties to the Windy City.
“Ferrara was a homegrown Chicago business,” he said. “Today we are not just welcoming nearly 400 new jobs to Chicago, we are welcoming a great company with deep roots in Chicago back home. Chicago has not only led the country in corporate relocations every year for the last five years, we have led the country in the growth of jobs in the food industry. We are glad that a company that had been part of Chicago’s past will now be part of our city’s future.”
Earlier this year, Walgreen’s announced it would move 1,800 employees into the Old Post Office next year, leasing 200,000 sq. ft. there. Walgreens will maintain its headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.
Alyse Thompson worked as an intern at Candy Industry Magazine in summer 2012. She joined the staff full time as associate editor in August 2016 after a few years at newspapers in West-Central Illinois. Alyse also became associate editor for Flexible Packaging magazine in September 2017. She has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish from Western Illinois University.