Love Beets USA LLC plans to add 100 middle-skill and high-tech jobs over the next two years, allowing the company to maximize its crop output and source 100 percent of its products from U.S. growers, company officials said this week.
That expected growth is a result of increased production and two new products: Beet salsa and Golden Beets with honey and vinegar.
“Some of those new jobs will be about how we make the best of agriculture in this area using digital technology,” said Love Beets managing director Daniel Cross at a press gathering Tuesday. “We’re working with Cornell, RIT and pulling some of the expertise that’s in this region to really make this a world-class center for beet growing.”
Love Beets expects to capitalize on exports to South America and elsewhere, Cross said.
“Beets are a healthy, delicious, nutritious product. They have fantastic benefits for heart health, blood flow, circulation, but they are difficult to prepare,” he noted. “And that’s where we come in: cooking them, juicing them, turning them into powder. Because we want to make those beets more accessible. That’s our mission.”
To do so, Love Beets will take advantage of all Western New York has to offer.
“We’ve got great agriculture in Western New York, but how do we build on that agriculture with food manufacturing to make those products more convenient and get them to market,” Cross said. “And we believe there’s an opportunity here, in the Eastman Business Park, to make this one of those food hubs and really be an area of innovation in this region, which will help propel our growth.”
Love Beets—a pairing between LiDestri Foods Inc. and G’s Fresh Ltd. of the United Kingdom—processes and packages fresh, marinated and organic beets and beet products at the LiDestri Foods manufacturing complex at Eastman Business Park.
The local facility grew from 51 staffers in January 2016 to 125 today. All of the company’s products for sale in North America come out of the Rochester manufacturing plant.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, was instrumental in attracting Love Beets to the region. She met with company representatives in 2014 to entice them to locate here.
“When I think you could have gone anyplace in the United States and you’re here, it not only says a lot about Rochester and our agriculture and what we’re able to produce and the best workforce you’ll ever find anywhere, but we are so proud of what you’ve done in such a short time,” Slaughter said while sampling Love Beets salsa. “And now you’re planning to add 100 more employees? That’s music to our ears.”
Love Beets has grown its sales from $15 million in 2015 to $26.3 million in calendar year 2017, Cross noted, and the factory still has capacity, putting the company in a good position to continue to scale up.
“Over the next 26 months we’re very focused on launching more of these new products—nutritious, healthy, delicious—and getting them sold across North America to create the next 100 jobs here in Rochester,” Cross said.
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