Ghana-based Niche Cocoa will build its first North American manufacturing facility in Franklin, Wis. The project is expected to create about 30 jobs in the Milwaukee region, reports Area Development.
The company will lease 44,000-square-feet in the Franklin Business Park. Niche will import cocoa cake, which will be pulverized to create cocoa powder for nationwide distribution as well as manufacture finished chocolate made with cocoa butter and cocoa liquor produced in Ghana.
“Niche Cocoa Industries Limited (Niche) has established itself as a formidable business in Ghana and with some international customers mainly from extracting high-quality semi-finished products from the cocoa bean,” said Niche founder Edmund Poku. “The value within the supply chain comes from adding more value upstream and given the market dynamics, most of those big markets are outside of the African continent. Niche is proud of not only the quality of the product it has delivered but also of the flavor and taste of the Ghanaian cocoa bean which is the world’s most premium bean. The US became a natural choice for expansion, given the market size and potential, to develop both semi-finished products and also sell more products up the value chain such as chocolates."
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) assisted in the recruitment of Niche Cocoa.
“The food and beverage sector is one of our state’s economic drivers,” noted WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “Niche Cocoa’s decision to locate here complements our existing businesses and opens new possibilities for collaboration in the supply chain.”
Niche Cocoa is the largest cocoa processor in Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after the Ivory Coast. The company is partnering with The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, a Milwaukee-based company that pioneered production of world-class, single-origin, bean-to-bar chocolate manufactured in Ghana.
“Niche is precisely the type of company we want and can uniquely support in our region,” Added Rebecca Gries, Vice President of Corporate Attraction & Expansion at Milwaukee 7 Economic Development Partnership (M7). “The company adds to a strong cluster of global food and beverage manufacturers that call our region home, a reflection of our favorable business environment, strong manufacturing infrastructure and one of the nation’s highest concentrations of talented workers.”