Mars Chocolate Blvd. leads way to plant
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Sep 29, 2013 | 1302 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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JOE BURTON, the site director of the Mars Chocolate plant, joins Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland in unveiling the new name of the stretch of pavement leading into the plant’s property. While not a main throughfare, it was given an honorary street name to celebrate the plant’s 35th year in Cleveland.  Banner photos, CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
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The main entrance to the Mars Chocolate plant off Peerless Road has gotten a new name.

Those who work at the plant can now give people directions by telling them to turn onto Mars Chocolate Boulevard.

To help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the plant, the city of Cleveland gave the stretch of pavement leading into the property an honorary street name.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland was on hand to help the plant’s site director Joe Burton unveil the new name as an audience of current and former employees and guests watched Friday.

Rowland said he liked to tell people that M&M’s candies were made in Cleveland whenever he travels out of town.

“I’m awful proud to tell people what’s made in Cleveland,” Rowland said.

Though he joked about people already knowing it was there because of the smell of chocolate wafting down the street, Rowland said the new street sign will further recognize the plant’s presence in the community.

Burton said the plant opened in 1978 in the space once occupied by a woolen mill.

Since the driveway is not a regular thoroughfare, the new street name was an honorary one rather than an official one.

The event to unveil the new street name was just one of many festivities Burton said the plant had held this week in honor of its 35th anniversary.

Among those in the audience for the announcement were retirees who had worked at the plant throughout the years. They and their guests were set to take part in other activities like a barbecue lunch and plant tours later the same day.

Burton said he was thankful for the city’s support throughout the years and he was hopeful the company would see many more years at its current location.

The honorary street name had been chosen by voters in an online poll on the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce website.

Mars Chocolate spokeswoman Leslie Veneziano said the poll received “a couple hundred” votes, and voters had five proposed options from which they could pick. Sweet Street was the name that came in second place.

Rowland also announced that a Cleveland Utilities substation near the plant will be renamed the Mars Chocolate substation.