TOPEKA, KAS. — Mars Inc.’s new plant in Topeka is open for business. The plant, which is roughly 500,000 square feet, is the company’s first new plant to be built in North America in 35 years. It initially will manufacture such products for the company’s Mars Chocolate North America business unit as Snickers and M&M’s, but other product lines will be added as additional phases of production are implemented.

“This new $270 million facility, which will bring 200 new jobs to Topeka, is one of the largest investments in Mars history,” said Debra A. Sandler, president of Mars Chocolate North America.

This past December, the company also announced it was investing $11.7 million to upgrade its plant in Waco, Texas. The plant makes all of the Starburst and Skittles candies sold in the United States as well as other products.