KH News Desk
Niche Cocoa is Ghana’s largest private global cocoa processing company, and its North American presence would mark the biggest food and beverage investment in US history made by an Africa-based company. Executives from Ghana’s Niche Cocoa Industry along with state and federal officials recently unveiled plans to establish its first North American manufacturing facility that will be based in Franklin, Wisconsin, a suburb of the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area.
The cocoa company plans to lease an existing 44,000-square foot building where they will hire 24 employees to process approximately 1,200 containers of Ghana-imported cocoa cake each year, which will be turned into cocoa powder, finished chocolate and cocoa liquor that then will be sold to other manufacturing facilities to be made into chocolate, ice cream and baked foods. The company expects the facility to be fully operational by January 2023.
WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.) assisted with recruiting Niche Cocoa to the Milwaukee area where the company plans to partner with the city’s Omanhene Cocoa Bean Co., which specializes in manufacturing bean-to-bar chocolate that is sourced entirely from Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa bean produce. The Ivory Coast, another West African country, is the globe’s leading cocoa bean producer.
“Together we’re creating cocoa products and compelling employment in both the US and Ghana,” said Steve Wallace, founder of Omahene. “We’re proving that a country’s competitive advantages, paired with strategic global partnerships, lead to winning outcomes in unexpected places.”
The announcement also had support from the federal government. Marisa Lago, US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, applauded the partnership between the two nations as a symbolic opportunity for other international prospects.