Wilbur Chocolate Retail Store
To be successful, the new Wilbur Chocolate shop not only needed another suitable down-town location, but the facility also had to recreate the look and feel of the original store AND be open in time for Chocolate-fest and the holiday season, a few months away. When Freeze and Frizz, an ice-cream and sandwich shop, announced its closing, this location directly across from the Wilbur Chocolate Factory would require no parking changes and solved the first challenge. But, the 1950s glass-storefront building looked nothing like the historic brick factory, and significant renovations would need to be completed within 11 weeks with a limited budget.
By creating a new façade constructed in brick and mortar matching the original factory and replicating the recognizable white lettering of WILBUR CHOCOLATE, the essential architectural aesthetics of the factory were brought across the street. The renovated large interior space not only permitted display space for museum artifacts, video screens to promote the history of chocolate making, more room for hand-dipping chocolate demonstrations and re-use of equipment from the original factory, but it also allows more room for patrons to move through the product displays and is fully-accessible for all visitors. Experienced in working well together quickly and by involving the borough and code officials throughout the process, PR Builders and Beers + Hoffman Architecture completed the project on time and in budget.