Hershey's Chicago: A Savory Combination of Chocolate and Tile
While the sweet aroma of Hershey candy is alluring on its own, the design of the company's new flagship store in Chicago presents a fun and interactive atmosphere for patrons to visit. The designers at JGA of Southfield, MI, utilized a varying selection of tile products to create a crisp, clean look - reflective of a confectionary kitchen.
And while a Hershey Store set in the center of Times Square in New York City was built prior to Hershey's Chicago, a great amount of planning went into the Windy City's location to make it unique. Although the new 3,000-square-foot store does combine elements of the New York establishment, it was designed with its own character. "It reconnects to the legacy that uniquely joins Chicago history and Hershey," according to a design statement released by JGA.
Hershey's Chicago occupies the corner of the Loyola University building, which features collegiate gothic architecture. It is set within the epicenter of the Magnificent Mile - an area famous for its line-up of retail shops. "Hershey was looking for a great location for a flagship store, and Chicago was a key place to go," said Eason. "This is a one of a kind specialty store. There are certain elements of the New York store. We talked about how the New York store is spicy - it has to be because it is in Times Square. Chicago is more savory. The flooring has more mellow tones."
Product selectionAccording to the designer, the client was very involved in the design process. "Tile is a key part in the overall finishes and features process," he said. "We looked at all aspects of the interior composition. Certainly, flooring is a key part [of the design]. Numerous schemes were studied, and we considered different materials and patterns with a very inspired client who really enjoys the process. They are great to work with, and like to see lots of options."
The flooring throughout the store consists of 20-by-20-inch porcelain tile from Crossville's Empire series, which was supplied by Virginia Tile Co. Additionally, American Olean 3-by-6-inch glazed ceramic subway tile - also supplied by Virginia Tile Co. - accented by 3/4-by-3/4-inch Bisazza glass mosaic pieces - were employed for the walls and columns in the store's café area.
The designer went on to explain that the large-format tile was chosen because of the grander size of the space. "It is more dramatic to use large-format tile," he said. "There are two different zones. In the front is the high-ceiling zone. We wanted a great floor to anchor the space. The back portion of the store really became the custom candy kitchen area. The ceilings are lower. That's where you see the subway tile on the wall."
The café area is complete with fresh-baked cookies and "Cocoa-To-Go." One of the highlights of this unique bakery experience is the "Hersheyizers," who entertain visitors as they custom decorate a selection of delicious cupcakes, cookies and brownies. Another focal point at Hershey's Chicago is the Magnificent Chocolate Works machine, which permits patrons to create and dispense a personalized mix of Hershey's products, including Hershey's miniatures, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Kisses brand chocolates and more. Additionally, large graphic panels encompass the perimeter of the store - offering another visual branding by displaying vintage Hershey's advertising messages.