Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that meat manufacturer Zweigle’s, which specializes in hot dog and other “Old World” products, today cut the ribbon on an ongoing expansion project at the company’s storied Plymouth Avenue facility. This phase included the addition of 15,000 square-feet to the company’s advanced manufacturing plant. The entire 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 company has committed to hiring 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.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “For more than 100 years, Zweigle’s has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the city of Rochester. The enduring growth of this family-owned business reflects our strategic investment in keeping renowned companies and their unparalleled products in New York State, where they can continue to thrive and create top-quality jobs.”
Established in Rochester in 1880, Zweigle’s is a 140-year-old, fifth-generation family owned business which is now being run by the original founder’s great-great granddaughter. 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, “We are proud to continue our 140-year legacy in the State of New York. With assistance from Empire State Development, we have completed Phase I of our expansion project which will allow us to provide new quality employment opportunities for residents in the City of Rochester and continue the growth we’ve experienced over the last five years. This project would not have been possible without help from ESD, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.”
Phase one of the project included property acquisition, building demolition, renovations, new construction and the purchase of machinery and equipment. Zweigle’s plans to further invest in additional improvements to the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the City of Rochester over the next few years.
ESD provided 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; another $150,000 will come from a Capital Grant and the New York State Job Development Authority (JDA) assisted the project with $1.860 million. The total project cost was placed at close to $18.8 million. The City of Rochester, Monroe County, Rochester Gas & Electric and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with this project.
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, “Zweigle’s is an incredibly important part of Rochester’s rich history and its future. An exciting component of today’s celebration 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, "I am glad to see Zweigles - an icon in the Rochester community - continue to flourish and expand here. I wish them many years of continued success."
State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “Zweigle’s is more than a Rochester institution, it is a worldwide phenomenon. Starting with sausages and expanding to a world-wide product line, for five generations Zweigle’s has provided more than jobs and dogs for our community, they have given us an identity. I applaud Julie Camardo, and her team for their commitment to our region and keeping Zweigle’s a viable operation in Rochester. Today’s announcement by the company and Eric Gertler and his team at Empire State Development shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create and keep jobs for the future. I look forward to Zweigle’s continued operations and the addition of new jobs in the heart of Rochester.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County residents and families have been enjoying Zweigle’s for generations, making it one of our region’s most iconic brands and products. But beyond hot dogs and sausages, Zweigle’s continued investment in our community has provided good paying jobs for countless hard working men and women and has helped bolster our local economy. I appreciate Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development’s investment in this project, which will ensure many more years of growth and success for Zweigle’s in Monroe County.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I want to congratulate Julie Camardo and her team at Zweigle’s for completing this phase of their expansion and thank them their continued investment in our city. Zweigle’s has been one of Rochester’s most iconic brands and important employers for 140 years and their presence on North Plymouth Avenue is a point of neighborhood pride in Northwest Rochester and beyond. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their support 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."
Joe Rizzo, Manager of Economic Development at RG&E and NYSEG said, “Today is an exciting day not only for Zweigles, but for the entire Rochester community. As a long standing customer of RG&E in the City of Rochester, Zweigles’ decision to expand its facility will create a positive impact on our local economy for years to come. RG&E is proud to be a strategic partner in this initiative which has brought new capital investments and job growth, including opportunities for those impacted by poverty, to the Greater Rochester region. Through our economic development programs, RG&E provided support for business growth/productivity initiatives and new electric infrastructure for their new expansion. We wish the company continued success.”
Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “Zweigle’s is a homegrown food manufacturer with deep roots in our community that has played an integral part in Rochester’s long history of innovation. Our region’s fully integrated supply chain and talented workforce helps Zweigle’s and more than 250 smart food and beverage manufacturers thrive in Rochester, NY.”
For more information about Zweigle’s, visit https://zweigles.com/.