Sausage maker on its way to Forks

By - Last modified: November 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

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Kocher's Continental Specialty Meats Inc., a food processor of specialty meats, will relocate operations from Ridgefield, N.J., to a facility that will be built in Forks Township, bringing about 26 new full-time jobs to the region.

The company will manufacture, ship and wholesale its products from the Forks Township site, said Joseph Correia, project executive for J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc., which has a Bethlehem location.

J.G. Petrucci is the developer for the design-build project, and Iron Hill Construction Management is serving as the construction manager, Correia said.

A completion date is set for June 2014. The four-acre site will have 25 to 30 employees when it's up and running, Correia said.

Site work will be completed by A. Scott Enterprises Inc. of Saylorsburg, and the architect is Cerminara Architect of Hillsborough, N.J., Correia said.

Aside from sausages, Kocher's makes hot dogs, bacon and a variety of deli meats.

The company decided on the new location because of its proximity to New Jersey as well as suppliers in Pennsylvania. The site is on Mort Drive across from Famous Smoke Shop and Leaf Restaurant Cigar Bar and Lounge.

The construction cost was not disclosed.

The company received a funding offer from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $50,000 Pennsylvania First program grant and $52,000 in job creation tax credits. The company will be eligible to apply for a $375,000 loan from the machinery and equipment loan fund to be repaid within 10 years.

The Governor's Action Team coordinated the project in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

Once the move has been completed, Continental will operate under the name, "Bethlehem Sausage Factory." It will establish a mail-order website to serve retail customers while the new facility will focus on wholesale trade.

Brothers Eric and Ken Mayer are the owners of the company, Correia said.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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