P&S Bakery Cooks Up Move to Youngstown
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – P&S Wholesale Baking Co. expects to begin manufacturing operations in early fall out of its new plant in Salt Springs Business Park, according to chief operating officer David George.
In February, an affiliated real estate holding company, DFBRG, bought the building at 2716 Intertech Drive previously occupied by LM Engineering. The holding company bought the site for $1.5 million, and P&S is preparing to spend up to $1.2 million more to renovate, equip and furnish the 43,000-square-foot building.
This week, the city of Youngstown will consider a 10-year, 75% property tax abatement to support the relocation. The move would bring 61 jobs into the city, all but four of which are full-time positions, according to the proposed Enterprise Zone agreement. The company plans to add 40 more full-time positions over three years as it brings on two additional production lines.
The company, which started as Cornersburg Pizza’s Struthers franchisee, began selling pepperoni rolls to local schools. The business eventually transitioned into wholesale and discontinued retail operations, George said.
P&S, now located on East Western Reserve Road in Poland, has outgrown its current plant and needs to expand beyond the single production line it currently operates, George said. P&S makes pepperoni rolls, breads, cookies and other filled rolls for schools, grocery stores, convenience stores and vending machine suppliers, and has clients nationwide.
Sales for the company have grown from under $100,000 in its first year of operation to $7 million in 2019.
Acting on a lead supplied by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, the city began working with P&S about a year ago to answer questions and provide information as the company was performing due diligence on the site, said T. Sharon Woodberry, Youngstown’s economic development director.
“In January, we followed back up with them and they thought they were ready to move forward with the expansion project,’” she said.
P&S began renovation of the Salt Springs park property in April, George said. He anticipates beginning operation of its first production line by the end of September or early October. The first of two additional production lines should be added within three months after the company moves in, he said.
The company’s 2019 payroll was $1.88 million and this year’s payroll is expected to surpass $2 million. The company projects it will add $434,720 in payroll next year with the addition of the second production line in 2021 and another $447,761 with the start of the third line in 2022.
The new site is “wonderful,” George said, with multiple loading docks and an open floor plan that allows the company to renovate to install the two additional production lines.
“It actually works very well for what we’re trying to do,” he said. The purchase of the site will represent the first time P&S has owned rather than rented property since it was founded, he said.
He also praised the city for its efforts to assist the company, including the abatement, though the project isn’t contingent on its approval, he said.
“What the city is doing is just an added bonus, but that’s not the reason we moved to Youngstown,” he said. “We still would have had to move and the building was a very good fit.”
Wages start around $9.50 per hour but P&S has “a history of rewarding employees with above-average raises,” according to the city documents. Middle management wages range from $15.50 per hour to $23 per hour.
In addition, P&S plans to develop a summer youth program to help fill in for vacationing workers in the summer, as well as to help alleviate overtime and develop a Saturday crew. The company also wants to work with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. to assist employees with home ownership.
P&S is also looking to increase employee benefits. During the past three years, it has increased vacation and paid time off, added hospitalization benefits, company-paid life insurance and accidental death benefits.
“We’re thrilled to be working with them. We’ve got a company in growth mode,” Woodberry said. P&S has “fared well” during a time when other companies have experienced “a significant slowdown,” she said.
George acknowledged P&S has felt the effects of the pandemic, with business down about 15%. Market segments that are down include schools, since in-person instruction was halted at the start of the pandemic, though schools are still distributing food to students. Other impacted segments include the vending and convenient store businesses.
Business also has been affected by coronavirus-related supply chain interruptions, George said. Even so, P&S has maintained operations and kept all its employees working, he said.
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.