Covered Bridge Potato Chips expands with $867K in government money
Expansion of Hartland-area manufacturing facility expected to improve efficiencies, increase production
Covered Bridge Potato Chips has purchased new equipment and expanded its Hartland-area manufacturing facility with $867,000 in federal and provincial funding announced on Wednesday.
Government officials and company president Ryan Albright did not respond to a request from CBC News for details about when the funding was provided.
The announcement comes less than eight months after a strike and boycott at the plant ended with the signing of a new contract that included a pay increase for workers and more money for boot and clothing allowances.
The contract dispute was settled after a New Brunswick judge rejected an application by Albright to dismantle the union.
The nearly 836-square metre (9,000-square foot) expansion is expected to improve the company's efficiencies and optimize operating space to increase production of its old-fashioned kettle chips, which are made from dark russet potatoes, harvested from the Albright family's local farm.
Investing in the expansion at Covered Bridge Potato Chips will help deliver on our number one priority of job creation.- Rick Doucet, minister of agriculture
The plant, which is located five kilometres away from the world's longest covered bridge in Hartland, is also an agri-tourism destination and the newly expanded building offers a better viewing space for visitors, additional washrooms and bigger gift shop.
"Investing in the expansion at Covered Bridge Potato Chips will help deliver on our number one priority of job creation," Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Rick Doucet said in a statement.
No information about the number of new jobs anticipated or the timeline have been provided.
The company, which began with three employees in 2009, currently employs nearly 100 people, according to the statement.
"I am pleased that ACOA's support for this project has enabled Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company to continue to grow and diversify its product offerings so it can meet growing demand now and in the years to come," Tobique-Mactaquac MP T.J. Harvey said in a statement.
The provincial government contributed $367,000 through a forgivable loan from Opportunities NB.
The federal government provided a repayable contribution of $500,000 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's (ACOA) business development program.