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Bedre' Chocolates factory expands production

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PAULS VALLEY, Okla. -Dozens of people, including Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, legislators and other tribal officials, were on hand for ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new Bedre' Chocolates factory, retail store and glassed-in viewing facility July 2, at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Airport Road in Pauls Valley, Okla. Bedre' Chocolates, the state's largest chocolate manufacturer, will now have the capacity to expand production of its gourmet European-style chocolate by four times with the opening of its new 17,800-square foot facility.

"This new facility will help us enlarge our market share by expanding our capacity and product line for customers from Honolulu to New York," said Gov. Anoatubby. "Beyond that, we are confident the viewing gallery and retail store will be a very popular attraction for tourists and other Interstate travelers."

Visitors to the store will be able to watch professional chocolatiers making everything from Bedre's world-renowned chocolate covered potato chips to chocolate coins to chocolate covered nuts and then enjoy their favorite selection immediately.

Bedre', Norwegian for "better," was founded more than 15 years ago by Pete Cantrell. The company was purchased in June 2000, by the Chickasaw Nation as part of its economic diversification efforts.

Prior to the opening of the new factory, the company produced chocolates in Ada for mail order sale to individuals and more than 200 wholesale accounts worldwide. The company will maintain its current retail store in Ada.

The new plant is expected to employ 25 to 30 workers immediately, and could employ more than 75 workers within a year. Bedre' candy can be ordered directly from its Web site at www.bedrechocolates.com.