Shuttered Chocolate Plant Buyer to Retain Workers

Workers may be able to stay at the plant they helped operate.

The Russell Stover Chocolates plant in Montrose, CO was the third-largest employer in its region in early 2020.

Nonetheless, the confectionery maker announced last January that it would be closing its doors after 47 years.

The company pegged the closure as strategic, and said the 400 workers would be offered “additional opportunities” within the company, including transfers to other plants.

A recent announcement suggests there will be local opportunities as well, as a real estate company has announced it will purchase the plant.

The buyer says they plan to use the space for food processing and cold storage and hope to provide “farm-to-table… direct distribution” for multiple smaller food companies.

The buyers say few plant modifications will be necessary, and they hope to get up-and-running quickly with the help of former Russell Stover workers who will require minimal training.

The 278,400-square-foot facility was appraised at $15 million, but ultimately sold for $4.5 million.