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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Empire State Development Announces 'Once Again Nut Butter' Cuts Ribbon in Livingston County

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Once Again Nut Butter, an organic and natural nut butter manufacturer and nut ingredient supplier, cut the ribbon on its newly expanded facility in Nunda, New York.  The employee-owned company located in a small rural community in Upstate New York has a new, state-of-the-art, 37,000 square feet manufacturing plant.  The $13 million project will result in the creation of 15 new jobs and the retention of 67 employees, the majority of who work and live right in Nunda.  The project also plays a key role in helping accelerate “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development, as it builds upon one of the plan’s three industry clusters: agriculture and food production.
 
“When we say ‘Finger Lakes Forward’ this is the kind of investment we want to encourage and support,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.  “Once Again Nut Butter is an industry-wide success story and a hometown fixture, one that is reaffirming its commitment to Nunda and the entire region. This expansion strengthens Once Again’s position in the healthy foods marketplace and improves its operations in terms of capacity and consumer safety. We are proud to partner with a company of such quality and potential for the future.”
 
“Natural and organic foods continue to gain popularity with new emphasis on health and nutrition,” said Once Again Nut Butter General Manager Bob Gelser.  “Once Again’s new peanut facility will create increased capacity and manufacturing efficiencies to meet this growing consumer demand for nut and seed butter products. Our expansion will allow for the separation of peanuts from the remainder of our manufacturing processes. This will address any concerns from almond, cashew, sunflower, and tahini customers who require a peanut free product.”

The Livingston County IDA estimates the benefit to the state and region as a result of this project, through job creation and revenue on sales, income and property tax, is more than $4.6 million.  The project represents the most economic growth in Nunda in at least 10 years.   Once Again Nut Butter is also one of the world’s largest organic almond butter producers using 15 percent of the world’s organically grown almonds. 
 
Once Again Nut Butter was awarded $300,000 from Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, as part of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) 2012 Small Business Expansion Fund, which was an effort to ensure New York State investment in job creation/retention projects outside Monroe County.  The project also plays a key role in helping accelerate “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development, as it builds upon one of the plan’s three industry clusters: agriculture and food production.  New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA) incentives for Once Again Nut Butter totaled $54,000 for measures that reduce energy used during the manufacturing process and in building operations.  Though the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency, sales taxes on non-manufacturing equipment and materials were reduced. Real estate taxes will be deferred over a 10 year schedule.
 
“As one of the top food processing facilities in the Finger Lakes region and the fastest growing certified organic food company, Once Again Nut Butter’s newly expanded facility will allow it to meet its rapidly growing sales,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.  “The addition of new, permanent jobs in the small town of Nunda will also foster a significant economic impact felt throughout the county.”
 
“NYSERDA’s partnership with Empire State Development and the Livingston county Industrial Development Agency, ensures that the new manufacturing facility at Once Again Nut Butter will be able to reduce its energy use and costs,” said NYSERDA President & CEO John B. Rhodes. “The company is setting an excellent example for manufacturers across the State as it increases jobs and advances Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision by reducing its energy consumption.”