CHICAGO — Blommer Chocolate Co. announced it is opening a new, customer friendly R&D Applications Lab in downtown Chicago, at The Merchandise Mart.

The new space will allow the chocolate and cocoa manufacturer to find new ways to support business, research and development, while also making the company more accessible.

“We are looking forward to hosting customers,” said Marie Loewen, R&D corporate manager, applications. “The new lab has been thoughtfully designed to be a functional workspace for the team, with a welcoming atmosphere for collaborating with customers.”

One of two kitchens in the laboratory is specifically for chocolate and compound work. It opens into a large room, making it convenient for visitors. Blommer will use the kitchen for training, ideation and demonstrations. A humidity-controlled environment, the kitchen is equipped for confectionery work, such as molding and panning.

The other kitchen will be used for “hot” applications, including baking and frying.

Blommer envisions the lab delivering innovation, as well as technical support and creative solutions for its customers.

The Blommer R&D applications team will work out of the new space, which will begin hosting customers in February.

The company provides business solutions for domestic and international customers in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries.