Five years after breaking ground on its Forks Township manufacturing facility, a local producer of personal care and equine products is expanding.
Straight Arrow Inc., a company that makes hair and skin products for both horses and people, marked the start of construction today on a $3 million phase two project, which would bring an additional 25,000 square feet to its existing 110,000 square feet.
Straight Arrow makes Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner, a product originally tailored for show horses but which grew in popularity so that people use it as well. Its other popular products include Cowboy Magic and Exhibitor’s grooming products.
The company produces and ships all of its products worldwide from the Lehigh Valley, including hair sprays, wound creams, pain formulas and other shampoos and conditioners.
The company used to conduct all its manufacturing at its Highland Avenue location in Bethlehem Township, said Devon Katzev, president and CEO of Straight Arrow. The phase two expansion will house all its pre-weigh ingredients for its products and allow more space for general production, he added.
The company has about 83 employees across its three locations. The company also has a shipping warehouse on Brodhead Road in Bethlehem Township.
Straight Arrow’s ultimate plan is to get all its employees under one roof at Conroy Place in Forks Township.
The company is planning a phase three expansion of 20,000 square feet, which would create more corporate office space, and eventually a phase four expansion of 40,000 square feet for more warehousing space.
In June 2020, it will shut down the Brodhead Road warehouse, Katzev said. For now, it will keep the Highland Avenue location for manufacturing as well.
“We are trying to keep all the manufacturing in one facility,” Katzev said.
The phase two expansion is an important step in creating more room for its manufacturing space. He plans to have construction complete by March.
“We’ve been running the components back and forth,” Katzev said. “That’s not efficient. This is an important piece that we needed.”
Straight Arrow’s expansion arrives at a time when the company is nearing its 50th anniversary next year.
The business started in Freehold, New Jersey and moved to the Phillipsburg, New Jersey area, then the Bethlehem area and finally Forks Township, he added.
Boyle Construction of South Whitehall Township is the construction firm building the expansion and MKSD architects of South Whitehall Township is the architect. Bohler Engineering of Bethlehem is the engineer.