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Maker of Gold's horseradish, Fox's U-Bet syrups to shutter LI plant

Gold's horseradish was started in Brooklyn in 1932.

Gold's horseradish was started in Brooklyn in 1932. The company moved into the Hempstead plant in 1994. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The maker of Gold's horseradish and Fox's U-Bet syrups plans to shutter its Hempstead plant and lay off 48 employees, according to a state filing.

Gold's Pure Foods LLC will sell its equipment and vacate the facility at 1 Brooklyn Rd. in Hempstead by March 31, when the lease expires, the company said.

A statement from Bob Helland, executive vice president, sales & marketing for Gold's Pure Foods, cited the COVID-19 pandemic, aging manufacturing equipment and "changes in the marketplace" for the shutdown.

"We are exploring options to continue the production of our world famous Gold's horseradish, mustard, specialty soups and sauces along with our Fox's line up of U-Bet syrups," he said. "We do not anticipate any disruption in the distribution or supply chain."

Unionized workers at the plant are represented by Teamsters Local 802, which declined to comment.

The Gold's and Fox's brands, both originating from Brooklyn, strike a note of nostalgia for many Long Islanders who themselves migrated from the boroughs.

Gold's horseradish, which sponsored a string of New York Mets bobblehead promotions, has long been a staple on many Passover tables. U-Bet syrups are widely used in egg creams, a quintessential New York City beverage.

The company, founded in 1932, was owned by the Gold family until 2015, when it was acquired for an undisclosed sum by Chicago-based LaSalle Capital.

Marc Gold, who was a co-owner of the business, said he was alerted to the planned Hempstead closing by a former customer and was unaware of the details.

The private equity firm did not respond to requests for comment, but its website says that it specializes in the "food and beverage ecosystem."

At the time of the sale in 2015, Marc Gold said that the new owner planned to retain all 54 employees.

After the 2015 sale, Gold's Pure Foods was folded into the Westminster Foods LLC unit of LaSalle, which includes Westminster Cracker Company based in Rutland, Vermont, according to the private equity firm's website.

Gold's horseradish was started by Marc Gold's grandparents. The company moved into the Hempstead plant in 1994.

Beginning with Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza in 2002, Gold's sponsored Mets bobbleheads for 13 consecutive years, ending in 2014 with outfielder Curtis Granderson.

The company's last major promotion was a garden gnome depicting pitcher Jacob deGrom in 2015, Marc Gold said.

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