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Progress Noted By IDA In Downtown Silver Creek Petri Project

SILVER CREEK — The community is one step closer to once again smelling Petri Baking Products cookies baking in the heart of downtown Silver Creek.

At its meeting Tuesday, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors approved financial incentives to support Petri Baking Products establishing a new bakery in Silver Creek in the same facility that still brandishes its name.

Mark Geise, Chautauqua County’s Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CEO of the CCIDA said, “We are really pleased to support the Habib family re-starting its bakery operations and creating a significant number of new jobs in Chautauqua County. While this project is certainly not a slam dunk, we are one step closer to making it a reality.”

Petri had previously operated in Silver Creek as an anchor business from 1982 to 2012 until the ownership sold to Ralcorp, which had a solid regional presence at the time. Ralcorp later unexpectedly sold the bakery to ConAgra foods, which closed all local plants thereafter.

The bakery has reincorporated with the intention of recreating its success as the top private label soft cookie manufacturer in the United States. Plans are to build a successful, stable platform of cookie sales to start with, and then springboard into any and all categories of the snack food aisle.

Private label, also known as store brands, are products packaged for sale under the retailer’s name instead of the manufacturer’s name. As before, this is the segment in which Petri will operate.

Anthony Habib will once again lead the corporation as its President. Habib said, “We are really excited to return to Silver Creek, a community we know very well with a fantastic workforce, and operate in a building we know top to bottom, with the strong leadership team we have assembled. We still have a lot of work to do to make this a reality, but we are hopeful we can bring everything together to make it a reality. There are a lot of moving parts!”

During Tuesday’s IDA meeting, Habib said they were hoping to move ahead immediately, but New York Job Development Authority is unable to give its necessary approval until October. “Right now our timeline is considerably blown up,” he said. “We’re still working through those logistics.”

Right now it appears Petri will acquire its former location at 18 Main St. in the village. Renovations will be undertaken and new equipment will be installed, including one new oven to start – with plans for future growth. Approximately 40 new jobs are planned when operations begin in early 2021, with over 100 projected during the first three years. According to the company, all jobs will be good paying positions with attractive benefits.

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