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Maker of natural pet food plans $8 million expansion in Hauppauge

Holistic Health Extension, preliminarily approved for some $300,000

Holistic Health Extension, preliminarily approved for some $300,000 in tax benefits by the Suffolk County IDA, plans to move from Deer Park to a larger building in Hauppauge. Credit: Holistic Health Extension

Holistic Health Extension, a Deer Park maker of natural pet food, has received preliminary approval for more than $300,000 in tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to support an $8 million move to Hauppauge.

The company will purchase and renovate a 55,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at 50 Commerce Dr. instead of moving its business operations off Long Island. The tax breaks include reductions in sales tax on materials and equipment purchases, as well as reduced property taxes for 10 years.

Had the family-owned, third-generation business not obtained the financial assistance, relocation to New Jersey, where Holistic Health Extension works with a "co-packer," would have been "strongly considered," company officials said in their application to the IDA.

"We're excited to purchase a new headquarters that will be able to house all of our employees and inventory, all while providing us with the necessary space to continue expanding," Brad Gruber, 36, president of Holistic Health Extension, said in a statement. 

The pet food sold by the company is made from proprietary recipes, mostly created by Gruber’s wife’s grandfather, who started the business from his home basement in Dix Hills in 1963, Gruber said Thursday. It is manufactured in a facility upstate.

Gruber described Holistic Health Extension as "high-quality, nutritious"  dog and cat food and said "mom and pop pet stores" account for 90 percent of the company's sales. 

Holistic Health Extension also sells treats, vitamins and supplements, and shampoos for cats and dogs.

It has 18 full-time employees, 12 of them on Long Island, and plans to add six full-time positions, Gruber said. The average employee earns $53,740, according to the IDA application.

"The IDA is pleased to play a role in this project that will keep a homegrown company from uprooting its successes  while retaining and creating jobs for Long Islanders," IDA executive director Tony Catapano said in a statement. 

Moving operations to the new building, which is three times larger than the company's current facility, will allow it to "double down" on distribution operations and continue its expansion, but Gruber said he’s not interested in selling through large national pet product retailers.

“Our product is a niche, noncommercial, cooked slow, small-batch product,” he said.

 

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