Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Coordinates: 36°04′23″N 115°04′19″W / 36.073°N 115.072°W / 36.073; -115.072
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Ethel M Chocolate Factory
FounderForrest Mars Sr.
Number of locations
Area served
Las Vegas, Nevada
Glendale, California
OwnerMars, Incorporated

The Ethel M Chocolate Factory is a chocolate factory in Henderson, Nevada, founded by Forrest Mars Sr. It produces gourmet chocolate for all of the Ethel M and Ethel's brand chocolates. The factory was named after the mother of Forrest Mars Sr. and is owned by Mars, Incorporated.


The Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Forrest Mars Sr. joined the family business Mars in 1929 and retired in 1969. After a short time of retirement, he created Ethel M Chocolates in 1978, which opened in 1980. The reasons for the foundation are assumed to be wanting to cure the boredom he experienced after retiring and to honor his mother, using chocolate recipes she had created.[1] 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."[2]

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."[1]

Ethel M was purchased by Mars, Inc. in 1988.[3]

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.[1]


The botanical gardens on the site

The main production plant of Ethel is located in Henderson, Nevada. A part of the factory is open to the public and visitors can take self-guided tours.[4] Other than at the factory (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.[4]

At the same location of the plant is the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden, which features over 300 species of desert plants.[2][5]


The company distributes their products mainly via phone and internet on their website, although they also operate several retail outlets in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.


Ethel M sponsored NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry race car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 2021 and 2022 Pennzoil 400. Parent company Mars, Inc. were a primary sponsor of Kyle Busch from 2008 until 2022 and it was replaced by Monster Energy.


  1. ^ a b c The Emperors of Chocolate by J.G. Brenner. Published by Random House in 1999. See page 324
  2. ^ a b Karuga, James (July 16, 2022). "Nevada's Largest Botanical Cactus Garden Is Right Outside The Vegas Strip". TheTravel. Archived from the original on July 21, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  3. ^ Allen, Lawrence (2010). Chocolate Fortunes.
  4. ^ a b "Locations". Archived from the original on December 24, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Ethel M Chocolate Factory is a sweet spot in Las Vegas". Las Vegas Magazine. Archived from the original on May 16, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022.

External links[edit]

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