The man who emerged in February as a potential buyer of the near century-old iconic A-Treat Bottling Co. in Allentown will become its new owner.
Friday afternoon, Allentown businessman Paul Eifler shook hands with A-Treat vice president Tom Garvey in agreement to buy the A-Treat name, trademark, logo, client list, supplier list and recipes. The deal was to be finalized this morning.
“Elated. That’s the best word for it,” Eifler’s business consultant Howard Lieberman said this morning. “We have a great team to maintain the A-Treat name. We are able to bring it back and bring it back in the same way it was before.”
Eifler is not buying the East Allentown building which closed Jan. 23 after nearly 100 years in business, or any of the tangibles inside, Lieberman said, including the equipment.
All sales and distribution of A-Treat products will be done in the Lehigh Valley, he said.
Eifler’s team has put together a request for proposal to find a warehouse that would best suit the new company. It is awaiting offers from real estate agents in the Lehigh Valley.
Production of the new A-Treat, however, will be done through a third-party bottling company. Eifler is looking into three companies in Wilkes-Barre and West Chester, Lieberman said.
Because the equipment was old and inefficient, it would have cost too much money to replace everything, Lieberman said.
“We are trying to hire back the people that we can,” he said.
The new A-Treat will have a staff of about 15, Lieberman said, adding there are plans to eventually expand the trade area to reach Florida, which would mean more staffing.
Settlement will be in 60-90 days, Lieberman said. There is a lengthy due-diligence process and a host of liens that need to be handled, he said.
“It was a lot of fun to get to this point,” Lieberman said. “I look forward to the opportunity to see it [A-Treat] grow and restore.”
A New Jersey native, Eifler has been living in Allentown the past 17 years and co-owns Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Salisbury Township. He started the financial planning franchise in 1999 and has nearly 400 clients.
Before entering finance, Eifler spent more than 20 years in the flavor production industry, where he held various positions in the compounding, testing and applications of flavors used in products for major soft-drink companies.