Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Cheribundi, Inc. will expand its manufacturing operations and move to a new location in Geneva, Ontario County. The tart cherry juice producer will invest more than $4 million to relocate its facilities to the former Tops Friendly Markets on New York State routes 5 and 20, directly supporting a key goal of the region’s Finger Lakes Forward initiative by creating 35 new jobs and spurring further economic growth in the Finger Lakes region.
“Cheribundi’s expansion is great news for the Finger Lakes and another example of the region's economic resurgence,” Governor Cuomo said. "These new investments by the company are a victory for residents in Geneva and beyond that will plant deeper roots in the community, retain and create more local jobs and repurpose a vacant building."
The tart juice company, which currently houses its headquarters inside the city’s growing Technology Farm, plans to be in operation at its new location on New York State routes 5 and 20 later this fall. Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency, will provide Cheribundi, Inc. with up to $700,000 in grants and performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for job creation commitments.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The Technology Farm at Cornell Agricultural Park in Geneva, with its focus on biotechnology research, has been instrumental in Cheribundi’s growth and their partnership is a great example of what can be achieved when our top tier universities partner with New York State businesses.”
Cheribundi Vice President Ed Maguire said, “We are so grateful to Governor Cuomo and to the state for all of its support in helping our business grow. That help will go a long way to facilitating our acquisition of the proper equipment and resources we need to make our world class beverage. We are pleased as well to be staying in Geneva and look forward to growing our business here.”
Mike Manakowski, Head of the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency said, “We thank the Governor and the state for all of their help in supporting this beverage manufacturers’ expansion in Ontario County. That help ensured that Cheribundi will continue to grow their sales here and we are so pleased that they are repurposing the empty Tops store in Geneva for this venture, bringing new life to that building.”
State Senator Mike Nozzolio said, "Cheribundi is a great success story and it is very gratifying to see more jobs created in the Finger Lakes region. Under the direction of John Johnson, entrepreneurs at the Cornell Food and Technology Park are given the opportunity and assistance to grow and expand jobs. My thanks to Governor Cuomo for his focused attention on growing jobs in the Finger Lakes.”
State Assemblyman Brian Kolb said, “I am proud to congratulate Cheribundi as the company moves into its new facility in Geneva as part of an expansion plan to meet the growing nationwide demand for tart cherry juice. Cheribundi’s juice is made from Montemorency tart cherries grown locally by Finger Lakes farmers. Cheribundi started as a small idea but with the help, collaboration and partnership of Cornell University and the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park, the company has grown into a nationwide brand and has seen tremendous success. It quickly expanded from one million dollars in annual sales in 2008 in its first year on the market to 2016 projections of $16 million in sales.Supporting local businesses like Cheribundi by cultivating and encouraging innovation will continue to lead to similar job-creation and growth stories across the state.”
The news of Cheribundi’s expansion follows a recent announcement by Governor Cuomo that the City of Geneva will be receiving $10 million dollars as part of New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. After submitting a proposal, the city was chosen by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to receive funding to help connect the downtown area with the scenic lakefront area.
Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock said, “It was great news to learn that Cheribundi has chosen to stay and expand in Geneva. The creation of new jobs is exactly what is needed in the city. It adds to the excitement of the revitalization efforts that are taking place in Geneva and we look forward to their growth.”
About Cheribundi, Inc.
Cheribundi was founded after a former professional tennis player snacked on tart cherries, only to discover that his back pain was eased. A team of researchers from Cornell University were brought on board to explore the benefit possibilities further and helped the company to perfect a juicing process inside Geneva’s Technology Farm. For more information on Cheribundi, Inc., visit us here.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agricultureý and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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