Regional grocery chain Best Market will take over about one-third of the former Entenmann’s facility in Bay Shore, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, the first step in the establishment of a new Long Island “food hub.”
The privately held, family-owned company – which started with small fruit-and-vegetable stores in Brooklyn and now manages 30 supermarkets in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, including its newest in Islip – will consolidate distribution operations and its corporate headquarters, currently located in Bethpage, into the 520,000-square-foot former Entenmann’s facility.
The ubiquitous confectioner baked its last coffee cake in Bay Shore in 2014, when Mexican parent Grupo Bimbo – dba Bimbo Bakeries USA – cut the remaining 178 jobs at the site and spread production to other facilities.
In a move facilitated by $1 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits provided by Empire State Development, Albany’s main economic-development engine, Best Market will take approximately 200,000 square feet inside the Bay Shore facility.
In exchange for the credits, the company has agreed to create 125 jobs over the next five years and to retain nearly 2,100 existing Long Island-based jobs, according to Cuomo’s office.
Calling the family-owned business “a great Long Island success story,” the governor said it was “only fitting” that Best Market’s expansion should lead it the former Entenmann’s factory, a location that’s “been a major part of the Bay Shore community.”
“This expansion underscores the state’s commitment to improving our business climate,” Cuomo added, noting Albany’s mission to “help New York businesses flourish and regional economies thrive.”
As the anchor tenant of the former Entenmann’s facility, Best Market plans to expand its Long Island operations, according to President and CEO Rebecca Philbert, who agreed with Cuomo that the longtime Entenmann’s factory was “an important staple in the Long Island economy for many years.”
“Best Market is excited to resurrect the former Entenmann’s facility,” Philbert said in a statement. “Building a corporate office, distribution center, production facility and a supermarket at this location will create needed jobs and will greatly benefit Bay Shore and all of Long Island.”
Best Market also plans to establish “limited food-processing operations” as the site, according to the governor’s office, along with a business incubator for emerging food-focused entrepreneurs.
State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, called the Best Market relocation and the establishment of a regional food hub inside the shuttered Entenmann’s factory “tremendous news for the Long Island economy.”
“I applaud Best Market and its food-business incubator project,” Boyle said. “It is this type of creative redevelopment concept that’s needed for economic growth throughout the entire state.”