(South Bend, IN) - Plans for a chocolate factory and dinosaur museum northeast of La Porte County seem to be going extinct.
A few years ago, South Bend Chocolate Company owner Mark Tarner unveiled plans to open a new chocolate factory with a dinosaur museum attached. Tarner hoped to grow his chocolate business and capitalize on his passion for paleontology.
South Bend gave Tarner 70 acres of land on US 20 west of the South Bend Airport and a deadline of this month to start construction.
Site plans for the project popped up in an economic development meeting just a few weeks ago. However, as Tarner recently told the South Bend Tribune, COVID-19 has taken too big a bite out of his bottom line. The pandemic, he said, has cost him over 95% of his profits. Although he is on the cusp of lining up needed investors, he can’t move forward with the $14 million project at this time.