State assists in Zweigle’s expansion plan

Zweigle’s, Rochester’s homegrown meat manufacturer, plans to build a 29,000 square-foot expansion and create 33 new job after gaining state support of about $1 million in tax breaks and outright grants. 

The expansion, due to be completed in late 2022, will cost approximately $18.8 million in total and is expected to also receive assistance from the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and Greater Rochester Enterprise. 

“This expansion is an integral part of our strategic plans and will continue to support the growth we’ve been experiencing over the last five years,” said Zweigle’s CEO Julie Camardo. “We’re proud to not only keep our facilities in Rochester, but also to aid the poverty initiative by adding new employment opportunities for our neighbors here in the city,” A portion of the state assistance will be directed to hiring 12 people in poverty. 

“The support we’ve received from the state, county, and city will help us expand our new product offerings, like Mama Camardo’s meatballs, experiment with exciting food trends like meatless meat options, and continue to produce quality, local products as we have been doing for the last 139 years,” Camardo said. 

Empire State Development announced on Monday that it would support expansion of the Plymouth Avenue facility, helping the company meet the growing demand outside of New York for private-label and co-packing business. The company’s products include chicken sausage. classic sausage, deli meats, grilled chicken, meatballs and natural casing and skinless hot dogs.

 “Thanks to state investment, this family-owned business will ramp up operations in Rochester, continue to create jobs and opportunity for the most vulnerable in society, and strengthen the regional economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Zweigle’s was established in 1880, and is now being run by the founder’s great-great granddaughter. The expansion will involve acquiring property, demolishing buildings, making renovations, new construction and buying machinery and equipment.  

“Zweigle’s is an incredibly important part of Rochester’s rich history and its future,” said Robert Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “An exciting component of today’s announcement is that the company, one of the city’s oldest employers, has committed to hiring people impacted by poverty-something that truly is at the heart of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward (Upstate Revitalization Initiative) strategic plan.”

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Livestock producers needed for tasting event

The Meat and Greet Farmer and Chef Fair at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is looking for additional livestock producers to participate in the March 17 event in Geneva.

The colleges’ Finger Lakes Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty sponsor the free fair that introduces farmers and chefs to members of the public so they can learn about how meat is produced and prepared in the area.

Chefs Samantha Buyskes of H.J. Stead Co., Taylor Higgins and Starr Andrews of Halsey’s Restaurant and Brud Holland of Fox Run Vineyards are all scheduled to give live cooking demonstrations featuring local meats.

The event will be the second annual fair of this type. Interested livestock producers can contact Sarah Meyer, Finger Lakes Institute food systems program manager, at (315) 781-4382 or [email protected]

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275