Just west of downtown Chicago is the Blommer Chocolate Company, maker of specialty chocolate and cocoa to other manufacturers and snack bakers. When the wind is blowing right, downtown and River North used to be permeated with a calming, enjoyable, not-too-sweet smell of chocolate being rendered from cacao beans.
Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh chocolate cooking? Apparently some doofus in a converted loft nearby doesn’t, because that doofus has successfully sicced the EPA on the factory. He wasn’t complaining about the smell (probably because that was a known condition when the doofus bought his little exposed brick party pad, and therefore not actionable). His complaint to the EPA was the particulate the factory put into the air. Maybe the cocoa was dusting all the Crate & Barrel furniture this doofus had filled his place with, or clogging up the DVD player in his rad home theater system.
Well, whatever the reason, the EPA has cited the Blommer company and forced it to clean up. Now the factory will install extra filters that will eliminate both the particulate and the smell. Now, the doofus can quit worrying about getting cocoa lung, and start worrying about how he’ll have no friends when word gets out that he was the Slugworth who brought to an end that nice occasional aroma that was such a pleasant surprise.
These kinds of stories grow like weeds around Chicago’s industrial neighborhoods. Factories and plants—you know, places that actually employ people and pay taxes—are trying to stay in the city, and Joe and Stacee Timeshare move in down the block in a renovated loft space and start harassing the factory because it actually emits a smell or a noise or has trucks driving up to it at odd hours. Well, sorry, Joe and Stacee, they were there first, so shut the F up. There are few enough places in the city where people without a college education can earn a decent wage, and they don’t need you whiners making their lives difficult. Go find another place to live, or move back to Kenosha. Chicago’s already lost most of its candy-making capacity—how many of you knew it was once the candy manufacturing champ in America? So who knows how long Blommer will stick around if they have to put up with these squealing infants?