Factory that invented the chocolate bar closes

An era is at an end in Belgian chocolate production.  The owners of the Chocolade Jacques factory in the eastern city of Eupen have decided to shut down the factory.

Chocolade Jacques had a chequered history.  In 2011 the factory, world famous for its Jacques chocolate bars, ended up back in Belgian hands when the Flemish group Baronie snapped it up from Barry Callebaut.  Unfortunately, Baronie failed to turn the factory around and make it a success once again.

It was way back in 1936 that Antoine Jacques filed a patent for the Jacques chocolate bar.  The company insisted that it had invented the world's first chocolate bar. The Jacques company started chocolate production in Verviers in the 19th century, but it was in Eupen in the middle of the last century that it experienced its heyday employing 250.  In the Sixties collecting Jacques pictures, included in the bar wrapping, was more popular than collecting Paninis today!

The workforce of seventy was informed of the closure at a special works council.  The unions hope a takeover candidate can be found.  For the area the closure is a massive blow.  For many couples working at the factory this was their only income.