Ethel M Chocolate Factory

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The Ethel M Chocolate Factory
The botanical gardens on the site

The Ethel M Chocolate Factory is a chocolate factory, founded by Forrest Mars Sr. and located in Henderson, Nevada. It produces gourmet chocolate for all of the Ethel M and Ethel's brand chocolates. The company distributes their products mainly via phone and internet on their website, although they also operate several retail outlets located in and around Las Vegas, Nevada. Also located at this plant are the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden (which feature over 300 species of desert plants), a part of the factory is open to the public and visitors can take self-guided tours.[1]

Ethel M is owned by Mars, Incorporated and was named after the mother of Forrest Mars Sr.


Forrest Mars Sr. created Ethel M Chocolates in 1978, which opened in 1980,[citation needed] as a project to cure the boredom he experienced after retiring.[2] According to researcher J.G. Brenner, "Forrest established the venture in Nevada because it is one of the few states that allowed the sale of liqueur-filled cordials." He started Ethel M with two of his past associates, Alan Thomas, as General Manager, and Dean Musser, as CFO.[citation needed] Mars commissioned engineer Stephen H. Edelblute to design and build the factory, former candy factory owner Fred Dent to assist in developing his chocolates and Karen Grover, a recent research assistant.[citation needed] Within a few years of its opening "the company had reached annual sales of $150 million, from seventy Ethel M stores throughout the West."[2]

In 2007, Ethel M's introduced a new line of 48 different handmade-gourmet chocolates designed by master chocolatier Jin Caldwell.[citation needed]

In late 2007 the company responded to public demand for the classic line of chocolates by re-releasing six varieties of chocolates in their retail stores in the Las Vegas area.[2]

Other than at the factory (located at 2 Cactus Garden Drive), Ethel's stores can be found in Nevada at the California Hotel, Town Square Las Vegas Outlets, and Gates A-E of Harry Reid International Airport. The company also has stores in Southern California.[1]

Ethel M sponsored NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch and his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry racecar at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the spring 2021 and 2022, due to the company's ownership by Mars, Inc., who are a primary sponsor of Kyle Busch themselves.


  1. ^ a b "Locations".
  2. ^ a b c The Emperors of Chocolate by J.G. Brenner. Published by Random House in 1999. See page 324

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Coordinates: 36°04′23″N 115°04′19″W / 36.073°N 115.072°W / 36.073; -115.072