180 Manufacturing Jobs to Be Created
“It’s only fitting that Damascus Bakery’s commitment to creating jobs in New Jersey comes in the week of the one-year anniversary of the New Jersey Business Action Center, our state’s one-stop-shop for business,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at the bakery’s new location. ”Our Administration created the Business Action Center to provide assistance at the state-level for companies looking to expand, relocate and invest in New Jersey. Our new customer-driven approach has redefined what it means to do business in the Garden State and the evidence is in the proposed 28,000 jobs to date that will be created and retained through our efforts. We look forward to welcoming more manufacturers like Damascus to New Jersey in the months ahead.”
Damascus Bakery, a family-run, third-generation commercial baking company, had been in Brooklyn since 1930. Owned by brothers Ed and David Mafoud, the bakery began making pita breads and now bakes pizza crusts and gourmet flatbreads. Its products are distributed nationwide and are used by such well-known businesses as Starbucks and Costco. The company is relocating its headquarters and operations from a 20,000-square-foot facility in Brooklyn to a 117,000-square-foot facility in the South Ward of Newark’s Urban Enterprise Zone. Damascus Bakery purchased the building for close to $3.5 million and will invest close to $1.2 million in site improvements and upgrades. The opening is scheduled for early 2012.
"People have asked me, why Newark? I tell them, Why not Newark? We love what Newark and New Jersey have to offer – a diverse and energetic work force and a pro-business Administration," said Damascus Bakery partner Ed Mafoud. "We are grateful for the support we are getting from the city and state."
The state has provided the bakery with a $7.75 million tax-exempt bond and two loans from the Local Development Financing Fund Program totaling $1.75 million. The company also received a Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) grant for $414,000 tied to the creation of 180 manufacturing jobs. The state and city worked with Damascus for almost three years to help the bakery identify the best site for its business.
“New Jersey is fast becoming a destination state for business relocation and expansion,” added Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Helping businesses every step of the way who want to move to New Jersey or grow here is what the Christie Administration does.”
Today’s event was the third new business opening ceremony for the Lt. Governor in less than a week. Last Tuesday, she and Governor Chris Christie attended the groundbreaking for a new Church & Dwight headquarters in Ewing and last Friday, the Lt. Governor was in Cranbury to help dedicate the headquarters of Oncobiologics, a life science firm.