Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that one of the City of Rochester’s most storied companies is planning to grow its business. Zweigle’s, a meat manufacturer specializing in hot dog and other “Old World” products, will add 29,000 square feet to its Plymouth Avenue facility. The project will allow the company to meet the growing demand in markets outside of New York State for its private label and co-packing business. Zweigle’s had considered moving this operation out of state but committed to staying in the region due to state support. The project, which should be completed sometime in the fall of 2022, will allow the company to hire up to 33 new employees; at least 12 of those positions will be reserved for workers impacted by poverty; almost 60 jobs will be retained. Tackling poverty at its roots is a central component of the regionally designed Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) “Finger Lakes Forward.”
“Zweigle's is an iconic food brand in the Finger Lakes Region and Western New York, and their expansion will allow them to meet growing demand and offer their world-class products in markets outside of New York,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Thanks to state investment, this family-owned business will ramp up operations in Rochester, continue to create jobs and opportunity for the most vulnerable in society, and strengthen the regional economy.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, “Zweigle’s decision to expand in the Finger Lakes reflects New York State’s strategic commitment to keeping companies—and their unparalleled products—here to both grow and create jobs.”
Established in Rochester in 1880, Zweigle’s is a 139-year-old, fifth-generation family-owned business which is now being run by the original founder’s great-great granddaughter. The project will include property acquisition, building demolition, renovations, new construction and the purchase of machinery and equipment. The project will also help Zweigle’s improve its overall manufacturing operations. The company’s renowned products include chicken sausage. classic sausage, deli meats, grilled chicken, meatballs and of course its world-famous natural casing and skinless hot dogs.
Zweigle’s CEO, Julie Camardo said, “This expansion is an integral part of our strategic plans and will continue to support the growth we’ve been experiencing over the last five years. We’re proud to not only keep our facilities in Rochester, but also to aid the poverty initiative by adding new employment opportunities for our neighbors here in the city. The support we’ve received from the state, county, and city will help us expand our new products offerings, like Mama Camardo’s meatballs, experiment with exciting food trends, like meatless meat options, and continue to produce quality, local products as we have been doing for the last 139 years.”
ESD is providing support for the expansion project with up to $600,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The agency is also providing $250,000 through the regional Upstate Revitalization Initiative and another $150,000 will come through a Capital Grant. The total project cost has been placed at close to $18.8 million. The City of Rochester, Monroe County, and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with this project.
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said. “Zweigle’s is an incredibly important part of Rochester’s rich history and its future. An exciting component of today’s announcement is that the company, one of the city’s oldest employers, has committed to hiring people impacted by poverty-something that truly is at the heart of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward URI strategic plan.”
State Senator Joe Robach said, "Zweigle’s is one of Rochester’s oldest and most recognizable brands with nearly 140 years of history in our community. This expansion and the creation of new jobs are evidence of Zweigle’s recent success, which is so important to our regional economy and local workforce. I join with the entire Rochester community in celebrating many more years of delicious red and white hots on warm summer days.”
State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “I applaud Julie Camardo and the team at Zweigle’s for their ongoing commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Empire State Development Acting Commissioner Eric Gertler shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. I look forward to Zweigle’s growth and the addition of new jobs at their expanded Rochester campus.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, "Zweigle’s has been an iconic Rochester employer for almost 140 years and the factory on North Plymouth Avenue is a point of neighborhood pride in Northwest Rochester, which is why my administration is happy to support this expansion project. I want to thank the owners of Zweigle’s for believing in our city and making this investment in our community. I am also grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their work through Finger Lakes Forward to help us achieve our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens."
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, “Zweigle’s is an institution in our community, a brand that has defined Rochester summers for generations. We are proud to support this 5th generation company’s renewed local investment and we look forward to many more years of growth and expansion. This is one more sign that Monroe County is open for business!”
Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “Economic development is a team sport perfectly evidenced in the exceptional way each of our partners came together to support Zweigle’s expansion in the City of Rochester. Zweigle’s expansion reaffirms the extraordinary, fully integrated supply chain that supports more than 250 food and beverage processing companies in the Greater Rochester, NY region.”
For more information about Zweigle’s, click here.