Maker of S’mores Snacks Opens Lehigh Valley Manfacturing Facility
By Colin McEvoy on November 19, 2019
It’s hard to imagine improving upon a food item as perfect as s’mores, but Stuffed Puffs is doing it, and they’ll be doing it here in the Lehigh Valley.
Stuffed Puffs, a confectionery maker of chocolate-filled marshmallows, has chosen Hanover Township, Northampton County, for its new 150,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, which is expected to create 134 new full-time jobs.
“The decision of Stuffed Puffs to expand its production operations to the Lehigh Valley is an example of the region becoming a national leader in food and beverage innovation and production,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
“Since coming to The Factory to accelerate its growth, Stuffed Puffs has realized the advantages of making its product in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania with the available talent, educational institutions, and access to market,” Cunningham said. “The combined efforts of the state, Northampton County, and the benefit of Factory LLC being here, is a best practice example of how to grow U.S. manufacturing.”
Stuffed Puffs held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new manufacturing facility on Nov. 19. The state-of-the-art plant is located at 3900 Burgess Place, a former Guardian Life Insurance building.
“Stuffed Puffs will be available at retailers across the U.S. in the next year,” said Mike Tierney, the company’s founder and CEO. “The Lehigh Valley offers great incentives for companies to build here. … Our plan is to have this new plant up and running quickly to meet demand.”
The company uses a custom-designed and highly secretive manufacturing process to make a chocolate-filled marshmallow, and has the ability to make multiple shapes and flavors of marshmallows with various fillings. Stuffed Puffs initially launched its product exclusively at Walmart stores and will be expanding to other retailers in 2020.
It is the first client company of The Factory to open a standalone facility in the Lehigh Valley. Located in a converted a former Bethlehem Steel mill, The Factory is an innovation center for startup food, beverage, and pet health companies.
“At Factory LLC we seek innovation, and we know Stuffed Puffs is a big winner and the new plant will support our continued growth, because we can’t make it fast enough,” said Richard Thompson, Managing Partner at Factory LLC. “We are looking for the top 100 employees to join our Stuffed Puffs team.”
Factory is a team of experienced operators with $250 million of investable capital who acquire meaningful equity stakes in high potential food, beverage and pet health companies, and partner with them to rapidly build value, Thompson said.
Stuffed Puffs received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $670,000 Pennsylvania First grant, $268,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, and $140,400 in grants for workforce training and development.
“Food processing is one of Pennsylvania’s most robust and vibrant industries, supporting thousands of jobs and generating more than $5 billion in sales annually,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “It is only fitting that a new, innovative food company would make the commonwealth its new home, and we are proud to make the investment that will turn that plan into reality.”
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals with whom LVEDC coordinates regularly. The team reports directly to the governor and works with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
Stuffed Puffs also has an existing plant in Wisconsin. J.G. Petrucci handled demolition and construction at the site of the Stuffed Puffs’ new Hanover Township facility, which is located in the Lehigh Valley Flex Center.
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