OFD Foods, the world's largest custom processor of freeze-dried products, held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning to celebrate the beginning stages of a new plant at 1000 Rush Henrietta Town Line Road in Henrietta, Monroe County. The project, expected to be complete later this year, begins a $25 million investment in the region set to create up to 30 jobs during the first phase of the expansion while supporting a considerable number of construction jobs needed to build the new state-of-the-art, nearly 50,000-square-foot facility. The facility will focus on providing contract freeze-drying services in bulk industrial packaging for the company’s Midwest and East Coast customer base.
Oregon-based OFD Foods cites three key reasons for the expansion in Rochester, New York: talent, proximity to major Northeast markets, and availability of high-quality, skilled-trade training and education opportunities. These benefits motivated OFD Foods’ leadership to expand in the area.
“Talent was the #1 reason OFD Foods chose to expand in Rochester, and OFD Foods looks forward to beginning the hiring process,” said Jim Merryman, president and CEO of OFD Foods. “We’re excited to become active in the Greater Rochester community. We pride ourselves on our company culture and relationship with our workforce, and intend to offer benefits, such as profit sharing, to employees working at our new facility.”
OFD Foods produces food brands, including Mountain House and Easy Meal, for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery markets. The company also is the leading supplier of freeze-dried food to the United States military, consumer packaged goods, private food labels and pharmaceuticals, and provides services and ingredients to major food manufacturers. The shelf life of its products ranges from three to 30 years, depending on packaging and customer needs. In addition to its Oregon facility and the upcoming Henrietta facility, the company has a commercial office in Japan.
“Businesses like OFD Foods, a global leader in freeze-dried technology, are recognizing that the Finger Lakes region is ideal for growth and expansion," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who participated in today's groundbreaking. “Our state’s commitment to economic development in Monroe County continues to deliver results. The strategy we have put forward is resulting in the creation of good-paying jobs, like the 30 full-time positions at this new facility in Henrietta. More and more companies are investing in New York and demonstrating their confidence in the future of the Finger Lakes region.”
The OFD expansion provides a vital source of employment and economic opportunity for the Greater Rochester region, illustrating that the local economy is growing and the region’s Finger Lakes Forward plan is on track. The expansion was a result of collaboration among local economic development partners at Empire State Development, COMIDA, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Gas & Electric, and National Grid. Empire State Development will provide the project up to $400,000 in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant funds.
"OFD Foods' decision to locate in the Finger Lakes region is a significant win for the community and the state, " said Joseph M. Rizzo, Manager, Economic Development, NYSEG and RG&E. "RG&E is pleased to participate in a collaborative effort with our community partners, National Grid, and OFD Foods to help make this job creation project a reality. For more than a decade, our economic development programs have been helping communities retain and attract businesses, and grow employment to further strengthen the state's economy. We want to congratulate OFD Foods and wish the company continued success."
OFD Foods joins more than 100 food and beverage manufacturers that capitalize on Greater Rochester, New York’s 19 local colleges and universities, talented workforce, R&D expertise, natural resources, and the region's fully integrated supply chain assets — including precision manufacturing, engineering and packaging support.
“Our ability to deliver a skilled workforce and a quality site near OFD Foods’ East Coast customers made the Greater Rochester, New York, region the right place for this expansion,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise. “R&D resources and workforce training programs at higher-educational institutions, such as Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology, will support OFD Foods’ future growth plans.”
ABOUT OFD FOODS:
OFD Foods LLC is a global leader in freeze drying technology for a variety of uses. From hundreds of individual ingredients (including food, supplements, live cultures, and pharmaceuticals) to fully prepared entrees, and with a full range of packaging options in both food and non-food categories, the company applies cutting edge preservation technology to address a client's needs. For more information, please visit www.ofd.com