GOOSE ISLAND — Mars Food opens its new headquarters next week on Goose Island.
Mars Food is actually one of the smaller subsidiaries under the Mars Inc. corporate ownership, alongside Mars Chocolate and Wrigley chewing gum, combined last year as Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
Mars Food's biggest brand is probably Uncle Ben's Rice, although it recently moved to acquire Preferred Brands International and its Indian and Asian foods under the Tasty Bite brand.
Mars Food moves its headquarters from Los Angeles to 1131 W. Blackhawk St. with a grand opening set for Oct. 5. It's across the street from the Wrigley Global Innovation Center, which commands the so-called turnaround basin at the north end of Goose Island across from North Avenue.
The new 20,000-square-foot headquarters will have 75 employees, including leadership, joining the 2,000 other Mars employees through other subsidiaries across Illinois.
According to Mars Food spokeswoman Sara Schulte, the building was constructed in the early 1900s and was "designed with kitchens and food at the center and incorporates many of our sustainability and health and well-being priorities."
Goose Island is at the center of the North Branch Industrial Corridor, recently thrown open just north and south of the island to zoning changes allowing mixed-used developments including residences. Goose Island proper, however, was to remain a Primary Manufacturing District concentrating on local industry.