DeBrand Chocolates Preps For New Downtown Store

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The company has received major attention over the years from national and international publications, as well as Opera Winfrey. The company has received major attention over the years from national and international publications, as well as Opera Winfrey.
FORT WAYNE -

Fort Wayne-based DeBrand Fine Chocolates is planning to open a new retail shop in the $100 million Ash Brokerage Skyline Plaza. The mixed-use downtown development is set to open next year. The Journal-Gazette reports the company plans to pump around $300,000 into the location.

The store and building are slated to open in May. Construction on the high-rise, which will reshape the city's skyline, is a major piece in Fort Wayne officials' and the private sector's ongoing efforts to revitalize the urban core. Last month, a topping out ceremony was held to mark the setting of the final beams in the initial stage of the build.

DeBrand, which was founded in 1987 by Cathy Brand-Beere, has gained an international following. In 2013, the company opened its a shop in Kuwait, which is DeBrand's only location outside of Fort Wayne. It currently has three shops in the Allen County city. DeBrand launched its international wholesale distribution business in 2010 and ships throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East. The company says it employs around 100 workers between its store locations and its 30,000 square-foot corporate & manufacturing headquarters.

Co-owner Tim Beere told the Journal-Gazette Ash Brokerage Chief Executive Officer Tim Ash helped made a difference in DeBrand's decision to locate downtown, which the chocolatier had considered for years.

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