Friday, May 21, 2010 | 9:28 a.m.
Ethel M/Mars factory
Henderson is losing about 25 jobs because of a reorganization involving the Ethel M and M&M'S World chocolate businesses.
The companies are part of privately held food giant Mars Inc., headquartered in McLean, Va., and maker of M&M'S candy, Snickers and Milky Way candy bars, Wrigley gum, Uncle Ben's rice, Pedigree and Whiskas pet food and other products.
Mars Retail Group, which runs the Ethel M and M&M'S world businesses, told employees in February that it would relocate some operations from Henderson to Mount Arlington, N.J., by July.
About 10 employees will relocate to New Jersey and another approximately 15 Henderson jobs are being eliminated as part of the reorganization, spokeswoman Alice Nathanson said Thursday.
"The factory in Henderson will continue to manufacture Mars chocolate products and maintain the well-known cactus garden. Given the company’s commitment to its Ethel M retail gourmet chocolate business in Las Vegas, the eight Ethel M stores will continue to operate and the Ethel M management team will remain in Las Vegas," she said.
"Many Henderson-based Mars Retail Group associates have been offered positions and relocation opportunities. Salaried and non-salaried associates leaving the business have been offered a great deal of support, including separation benefits and outplacement assistance," she said.
"Mars Retail Group remains committed to the Ethel M brand and to its retail gourmet chocolate business in the Las Vegas market, where it operates eight stores, as well as to its two M&M’S World stores and the Henderson factory," she said, adding the company will continue to employ about 250 people in Las Vegas and Henderson.
Besides the two Southern Nevada M&M'S World stores -- at the Las Vegas Strip's Showcase mall and at the Henderson factory -- there are M&M'S Worlds in New York and Orlando.
The reason for the reorganization?
"We determined that it is in the best interests of the business to locate our key resources in one primary location where they are best positioned to drive our growth agenda. Previously our teams were scattered across the country in multiple locations. The New Jersey location is close to the Mars Chocolate U.S. business and will enhance our ability to collaborate with the M&M'S brand team and build our mutual business interests for M&M'S World and licensing," Nathanson said.
The company says the Ethel M/Mars factory at 1 Sunset Way in Henderson dates to 1981, when M&MS co-creator Forrest Mars Sr. retired to Henderson and created Ethel M Chocolates to honor his mother by creating a line of gourmet chocolates that reminded him of how he learned about quality chocolate making.