Pretzel factory breaks ground on $8.5M expansion

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Photo by Terry Scott Reed:  
Here are three of the seven generations of the Spannuth family, owners of the Unique Pretzel Bakery in Muhlenberg Township, shown after the groundbreaking ceremony for their 75,000-square-foot bakery and warehouse expansion. The $8.5 million expansion will employ at least 24 additional staffers when it opens next summer. The baking equipment will be manufactured in Berks by Reading Bakery Systems, Womelsdorf.
Photo by Terry Scott Reed: Here are three of the seven generations of the Spannuth family, owners of the Unique Pretzel Bakery in Muhlenberg Township, shown after the groundbreaking ceremony for their 75,000-square-foot bakery and warehouse expansion. The $8.5 million expansion will employ at least 24 additional staffers when it opens next summer. The baking equipment will be manufactured in Berks by Reading Bakery Systems, Womelsdorf.

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.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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