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Bio-Botanica changes expansion plans, will add 28 jobs

Bio-Botanica has 189 workers and expects to add

Bio-Botanica has 189 workers and expects to add 28 as it enlarges two Hauppauge plants. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

A Hauppauge-based producer of plant extracts used in food, medicine and cosmetics has changed a 2012 expansion plan to now include two factories, instead of one, and to add 28 jobs, an executive said.

Bio-Botanica Inc. wants to add 10,000 square feet to its plant at 85 Commerce Dr. to produce shampoo and cosmetic creams and lotions, according to William J. O'Reilly, the company's controller.

He also said 75 Commerce Dr. would be enlarged by 3,000 square feet for a process milling room and production pharmacy room where raw materials can be pre-weighed and sorted before production begins.

The two additions, totaling 13,000 square feet, are about half the size of a 24,000-square-foot enlargement proposed two years ago for 85 Commerce Dr.

Because the expansion is smaller than the one proposed in 2012, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency last month reduced the tax breaks that Bio-Botanica will receive over 15 years, IDA acting executive director Anthony J. Catapano said. The incentive package now totals $460,186, a reduction of $154,000.

The cost for the latest expansion is $3.3 million, or $736,000 more than proposed in 2012.

Bio-Botanica is one of about a dozen makers of drugs, vitamins and extracts on Long Island that are bulking up to meet greater consumer demand.

Bio-Botanica has benefited from the popularity of its Nature's Answer products and more production for third parties. Nature's Answer is sold by independent health food stores and chain retailers such as GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods Market.

The extracts producer has added 23 jobs in the past two years, bringing its total workforce to 189. It expects to hire 28 more people by 2017.

Records show that employees earn, on average, $46,395 per year.

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