EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 21, 2007

Nestle acquires Joseph's Pasta City to have largest filled-pasta plant in the nation

HAVERHILL - Like a big Italian meal, it has plenty to dig into.

A main course featuring a pasta-making plant that will be the biggest in America.

A side dish of new jobs, allowing the company to continue as the country's top producer of pasta and sauces.

And a dessert that spices up Haverhill's place in the food market, putting the city on the national map.

The Nestle company has bought Joseph's Gourmet Pasta & Sauces, a move that will put foods produced locally onto supermarket shelves across the nation.

Nestle takes over Joseph's expanded building that is nearing completion at 232 Primrose St. - a frozen-filled pasta plant that will be the biggest of its kind in the country at 150,000 square feet.

The expansion of Joseph's 55,000-square-foot facility has been two years in the making. The new structure is nearly double the size of the original, measuring 95,000 square feet.

Joseph Faro Jr., founder and CEO of Joseph's, said the expansion will bring 150 to 200 jobs to Haverhill.

"Nestle has the ability to bring (our products) to every supermarket in the country," Faro said. "It's really great for Haverhill ... we expect to add about 150 to 200 jobs in three years."

Joseph's Gourmet Pasta & Sauces was sold to Nestle's Prepared Foods division. Joseph's Pasta will be integrated into the Buitoni North America brand of Nestle Prepared Foods. Buitoni is Nestle's authentic Italian brand, which has been producing pasta and sauces in Italy since 1827. It became part of the Nestle group in 1988.

Faro started Joseph's in 1991 right out of college, producing 300 to 500 pounds of pasta each week, by hand on the second floor of an old church. Sixteen years later, the company has expanded into a nationally known baking company based in Haverhill and is now a subsidiary of the biggest food and beverage company in the world.

"It's really more of a merger," Faro said. "(It allows the company) to utilize Nestle's assistance, capital and ability to take the company to the next level. We're really excited about it."

Faro added that the company's success is a testament to its great employees, many of whom are local people.

"It's been a lot of hard work," Faro said of his company's enormous growth in just 16 years. "The city has really been good to work with as well."

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