Contract Manufacturer Breaks Ground on Upstate New York Expansion

Staff
By Staff
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Craft Cannery, the 2022 Grow NY $500,000 winner, broke ground Wednesday on a $1.5 million expansion in Bergen, New York.

The private label manufacturing business – which serves local and regional food brands and regional grocery chains – will more than double in size once the construction for the expansion is complete.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, Craft Cannery leaders and staff, as well as community and fellow manufacturing leaders, joined the construction crew and general contractor from Capstone Construction – toting shovels and hard-hats – to officially kick off construction.

“I can’t even believe it,” said Craft Cannery CEO Paul Guglielmo. “I’m so proud to lead a team that is passionate about making delicious products on a large scale, and this expansion will allow for us to grow in the way we need over the next few years, as we plan and prepare for our next expansion.”

Today, Craft Cannery is a 5,000-square-foot facility. When construction is complete, which is expected to be this fall, it will add another nearly 7,000 square-feet, more than doubling the size of the current building. The expansion will allow a full-time food service packaging line for bulk-food service in gallon jugs and buckets, mostly for restaurants, and a new glass bottling line.

Once the expanded plant is running, both areas of the business — food service packaging line and glass bottling line — will run simultaneously. A second floor is being added, which will house conference rooms, office spaces, a formal lobby and waiting area and a break room with kitchenette, and three additional bathrooms will be installed.

“As it relates to contract manufacturing, which is the core of our business, we are the contract manufacturer for well-known and respected local food brands” said Craft Cannery co-owner Tom Riggio. “We have been growing since day one, and there is more business that we have had to turn away due to space and production constraints. This expansion will allow us to support everyone from your favorite local restaurant to regional grocery chains across the Northeast.”

Guglielmo and Riggio purchased the manufacturing facility in 2020. At the time, there were three full-time employees. Today, there are 15 — 14 full-time and one part-time — and an additional six full-time employees will be hired this fall, once the new building is finished. New positions will include an operations manager, warehouse assistant, cook and production line employees. Guglielmo and Riggio purchased the building and land that they were previously renting last year.

“With their flexible and hands-on approach, we’ve seen Craft Cannery become a go-to provider for contract manufacturing,” said Chris Suozzi, vice president of business and workforce development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center. “The GCEDC was thrilled to support the expansion of Craft Cannery in our Appletree Acres business park. This project is yet another example of the continued growth of the food and beverage sector in Genesee County.”

In 2022, Craft Cannery won the $500,000 prize in the annual Grow NY competition, a global food and agriculture business competition — one of the biggest of its type in the world. A significant portion of the Grow NY prize is going towards the construction project.

“Craft Cannery’s growth is a testament to their drive and ability and brings the power of the Grow-NY program to life,” said Jenn Smith, director of Food and Agriculture Programs at Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement and director of the Grow NY program. “As an individual company they are making a positive contribution to the economy Upstate; as a leader in contract manufacturing in New York, they are helping local food companies scale up and meet consumer demand. We look forward to the ripple effect of their continued success.”

Craft Cannery is one of a few USDA manufacturing canneries in New York state. It is also registered through the Food and Drug Administration/United States Department of Agriculture, and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, and is third-party audited by the Global Food Safety Initiative Safe Quality Food Standard.

“The town of Bergen is very pleased with Craft Cannery’s plans to expand its facilities at 7100 Appletree Acres,” said Bergen Town Supervisor Ernie Haywood. “To be the home base of this innovative and growing business is beneficial to the town, its taxpayers, and residents. Congratulations to Paul Guglielmo and Tom Riggio on Craft Cannery’s success as evidenced by this 7,000-square-foot addition. We look forward to watching this business prosper and be an even more productive partner in our community.”

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