RICH PRODUCTS OF CANADA CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH $16 MILLION EXPANSION
FORT ERIE, Ontario, September 15, 2003 - Rich Products Corporation and Ontario government officials today celebrated the grand opening of Rich’s frozen “par-baked” dough manufacturing facility expansion including the creation of 36 new jobs and the investment of $16 million in greater Buffalo Niagara.
The grand opening, which included the celebration of Rich Products of Canada’s 40th anniversary, was presided over by Robert E. Rich, Founder and Chairman of Rich Products Corporation, Robert E. Rich Jr., President of Rich Products Corporation, William G. Gisel Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Rich Products, and Howard Rich, President of Rich Products of Canada. The Rich Products leadership was joined by Tim Hudak, MPP Erie-Lincoln and Minister of Consumer and Business Services, and Fort Erie Mayor, His Worship Wayne Redekop.
“This is a great day for Rich Products and the Town of Fort Erie,” said Robert E. Rich. “This facility, and the quality Associates who work so hard here, will produce industry-leading products for consumers around the world, right here in Southern Ontario.”
Robert E. Rich Jr., who served as Rich Products of Canada’s first President in 1963 remarked, “This opening marks 40 years of partnership, excellence and growth in Fort Erie, another milestone in our history but certainly not the last.”
The $16 million Rich expansion resulted in 36 direct new jobs. Seven million dollars of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment will improve the company’s production capability for par-baked breads and rolls (products that are 80%-90% baked). A total of 40 products will be made in addition to the products already produced at the Fort Erie plant.
“We stood here one year ago,” explained Minister Hudak, “to share Rich’s corporate vision and the commitment it was making to the Town of Fort Erie and the Province of Ontario. This expansion means more jobs today and greater potential for future growth. The Province of Ontario is pleased to have supported Rich’s through its OMAFRA program. The company’s increased exports will mean a more competitive Ontario.”
Rich Products’ Chief Operating Officer, William G. Gisel Jr., noted, “The Rich Products flag flies in 80 countries around the world from Buffalo to Beijing. The Fort Erie operations mark Rich’s first venture into the International marketplace and continues to be a launching pad for Rich’s aggressive growth throughout North America and around the world.”
Howard Rich expressed his thanks to everyone involved in making the project a reality. “We are very pleased to be expanding our Fort Erie operations. We have been collaborating with this fine community and its leadership for forty years and we look forward to the next forty. My sincere thanks go out to the many team members in this project, especially the dedicated Rich Products Associates from the US/Canada group who worked so hard to plan and and bring this facility to life. Most importantly, I’d like to thank the Rich Family for their continued commitment to and investment in our Fort Erie operations. Their vision and leadership have been the cornerstones of our success.”
Mayor Wayne Redekop recognized the business expansion and acknowledged the company’s 40th anniversary. In a presentation to Robert E. Rich, Mayor Redekop stated, “The Town of Fort Erie appreciates the forty years of successful operations and corporate stewardship that Rich’s has invested in this community.”
Jim Thibert, General Manager, Fort Erie Economic Development Corporation and Master of Ceremonies for the opening noted, “The Rich Products-Fort Erie relationship is a sterling example of the century long successful investment between New York and Fort Erie in business and social relationships.”
Rich’s is known around the world as the founder of the non-dairy segment of the frozen food industry and a leading supplier and solutions provider to the Food Service and In-Store Bakery markets. As one of the world’s premier family-owned food companies, Rich’s exports to more than 80 countries from Buffalo to Beijing.