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ESD announces expansion & new location for Top Seedz in Erie County


Fri, Sep 2nd 2022 10:30 am

Artisan cracker company moving into 34,000-square-foot production facility in City of Buffalo

√ 43North startup competition winner scaling up and automating production in response to increased demand for its unique products

Empire State Development recently announced the expansion of Top Seedz, an artisan cracker manufacturer, to a larger production facility at 101 Oak St., in downtown Buffalo. Presently working out of a 6,500-square-foot facility in Cheektowaga, Top Seedz will relocate to the new, 34,379-square-foot location, where it will produce and ship its crackers. The company plans to retain 28 existing jobs and hire an additional 20 to support its growth.

A press release said, “This expansion builds on Western New York’s food-processing sector, an important segment of the region’s overall strategy for economic development.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Western New York is well known for producing a wide variety of food products, and we're happy to congratulate Top Seedz as this sector's latest success story. The ongoing growth of the 43North competition winner is proof that well-placed investments in quality startups can pay off with new job creation, innovative products and widespread industry recognition. Top Seedz is a great addition to Western New York, where it will contribute to the overall strength of the regional economy.”

The press release continued, “Founded in 2017, Top Seedz hand-makes seed crackers, roasted seeds and seed cracker mix. Currently, the Top Seedz workers – most of whom are refugees who settled in the Buffalo area – are producing approximately 1 million individual containers of crackers per year. All its products are organic, gluten-free and vegan. By relocating to a larger facility, the company will be able to automate some of its labor-intensive, by-hand production and packaging. Automation will save time, increase efficiency and increase output to 6 million packages per year, and help provide a consistently delicious product.”

Top Seedz President and CEO Rebecca Brady said, “We’re excited about our next big move, and grateful to Empire State Development for supporting our continued expansion in Buffalo. Yet again we are impressed by the support provided to small businesses in Western New York by Empire State, 43North, Invest Buffalo-Niagara, and the entire start-up ecosystem. We are especially pleased to be able to move our HQ and primary production facility to a suitable location in downtown Buffalo, continuing the rejuvenation of the downtown area in partnership with Iskalo Development. Finding a location to suit our expansion plans was challenging, but we were fortunate to have been expertly advised on this project by Ed McGinn of Newmark Ciminelli and Danielle Eisen Shainbrown of Bellwether Advisors. Top Seedz has ambitious plans for growth, and with the support of the business community in Western New York we feel confident and excited about the future.”

ESD is supporting the company’s growth with up to $315,000 through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for promised job commitments.

The company also has the distinction of being the $1 million, 2021 winner of the state supported 43North startup competition.

43North President Colleen E. Heidinger said, “43North is thrilled for Top Seedz to reach this major milestone in their growth trajectory. Top Seedz embodies the impact that entrepreneurship can have on whole communities, and this move is sure to create even more ripple effects for years to come.”

New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy said, “Top Seedz continues to grow its fanbase here in Western New York and across the country, and now it will grow its innovative operation to meet the increasing demand nationwide. We’re thrilled to see the 43North winner expand its footprint here in the City of Buffalo, and truly appreciate the ways in which they have enriched our local economy with a commitment to a strong and diverse workforce.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said “I’m thrilled Top Seedz has picked the Oak Street corridor for its major manufacturing expansion, bringing 28 current workers and at least 20 new positions to downtown Buffalo. This location is ideal for east Buffalo residents seeking work close to where they live, as well as those who rely on public transportation. Top Seedz is another example of a 43 North winner deciding to stay and grow here in Buffalo. I thank Empire State Development for supporting Top Seedz’s Buffalo expansion through its Excelsior Tax Credit Program.”

For additional information about Top Seedz, visit https://topseedz.com.

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