HAVERHILL — Bringing 125 new jobs to the city is part of an expansion planned by Cedar's Mediterranean Foods, which is wrapping up construction of a new, 125,000 square foot building, an addition to its thriving Ward Hill Business Park campus.
The 125 additional jobs, coupled with Cedar's 750 current employees, will make the company the city's biggest employer, according to Mayor James Fiorentini.
"It's a great project for the city and will bring more jobs and taxes, as there are no tax breaks involved," he said. "Before this expansion, Cedar's was tied with Southwick in terms of the number of employees. But this clearly will make Cedar's our biggest employer."
The new building will help Cedar's, the nation's leading producer and co-manufacturer of hummus, according to Chief Operating Officer Nick Scangas, to better serve customers’ demands for its products.
"Hummus" is the Associated Press style for the tasty blend of pureed chickpeas, sesame and spices. Cedar's labels its product with the alternate spelling, "hommus."
Cedar's officials said the company has invested $100 million in the new facility, which will double its total annual production output to 208 million pounds of hummus and Mediterranean foods, enabling the company to produce its selection of Cedar’s Foods signature products and burgeoning private label, co-manufacturing business.
"Cedar's is dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality, authentically crafted hummus and Mediterranean foods, using the best ingredients inspired from authentic recipes passed down by our founders," said Chris Gaudette, chief financial officer of Cedar’s Foods. "This investment represents our long-term commitment to expanding our brand and growing the category, while retaining our values as a local, family-owned company."
Cedar’s has an existing 87,000 square foot production facility, an 87,000 square foot distribution facility, and a 75,000 square foot dry storage facility. The new building will open in August.
The new facility will feature a fully automated production process with advanced robotic technology to perform many of the key functions, officials said.
The company has also collaborated with local utility companies to optimize energy efficiencies and has installed LED lighting systems, high performance wall insulation, insulated and automatic doors, high performance HVAC systems and heat recovery systems.
"We believe that this will be the most advanced hummus manufacturing facility ever built," Scangas said. “We have successfully adopted the latest technology which will control costs and increase efficiencies, all while maintaining our proven process of delivering products without the use of preservatives. This truly is a win-win-win for Cedar’s, our consumers and the environment."