Unique Pretzels Bakery Inc. broke ground on a new manufacturing and warehouse expansion in Muhlenberg Township that will bring at least 24 new jobs to the region.
The project was aided by an $8.5 million tax-exempt loan provided by Customers Bank of Wyomissing.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development approved the loan application in September.
William P. Spannuth, chief financial officer and sixth-generation member of the 120-year old family-run pretzel company, said the timing was excellent for the project.
“Our problem was the growing demand for our products that was outpacing our ability to manufacture them,” he said.
“Customers Bank helped us put together a loan application package in conjunction with the Berks County Industrial Development Authority to try and get the tax-exempt financing we needed to expand our production capacity.”
The tax-exempt program is designed to pass low-cost interest benefits through to private borrowers, to enable small- to medium-sized manufacturers to invest in new facilities, production lines, machinery and equipment, and technological advancements that bolster productivity and create jobs.
The expansion involves construction of a 37,500-square-foot warehouse and a new 36,000-square-foot-manufacturing plant, featuring large new baking ovens provided by Reading Bakery Systems.
The expansion will take place at a 4.6-acre site on the north side of Unique Pretzel's existing facility near the intersection of East Bellevue Avenue and Plaza Drive in Muhlenberg Township.
Dolan Construction Inc. of Reading is the contractor for the project.