The origin behind the naming of the Madelaine Chocolate Company has been lost in time. The family who started the company in Rockaway Beach after World War II didn’t have a Madelaine in the fold. It may have been a once-popular movie actress or just something French that kind sounded classy.
But the name has taken on a new meaning. The company has shown incredible resiliency after Hurricane Sandy, when the storm virtually wiped out the factory that covered two full blocks at the foot of the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and had employed more than 400 people and produced million of pounds of chocolate for more than 60 years.
With the help of loans and grants from the city, state and the federal Small Business Administration, the plant is back up and running at near capacity. It took nearly six years and $20 million, but Madelaine is back.
Officials opened its kitchen doors to the press this week to show off the rebuilt facility. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the historic factory.