Suffolk County this week offered hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks to a European pastry manufacturer weighing whether to stay here or move to New Jersey, officials said.
Pidy, a third-generation family business, would save $657,341 over 12 years if it goes through with a plan to move its U.S. operation from Inwood to 85 Jetson Lane in Central Islip.
However, Pidy is also considering a building in New Jersey because "the taxes are lower," said general manager Sophie Decroix. The company's first U.S. sales office was in New Jersey before it took over an Inwood factory 16 years ago.
Decroix, in an email response to Newsday questions, said Friday the company hasn't made "a final decision" on its $4.9-million expansion plan, though Central Islip was very appealing.
Pidy wants to more than double the size of its U.S. plant and office to accommodate increased sales and hoped-for new customers in the South and West.
"We're just getting too big for our facility" in Nassau County, said Decroix, whose grandfather started the company in Belgium in 1967. "We've had 10 percent annual growth in the last five to seven years, and we're getting into frozen desserts."
Customers fill Pidy's gourmet pastry shells with creams, fruit and other ingredients for fancy desserts. Pidy also sells pre-baked frozen tarts.
About 35 percent of the pastry shells now made in Inwood are shipped to Europe, she said, adding the shells are sold to restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food producers
Records show Pidy employs 60 people in Inwood who earn, on average, $27,578 per year. Some are members of Local 312 of the United Food & Commercial Workers union.
Decroix told the Suffolk Industrial Development Agency on Thursday that the expansion would create seven jobs.
To keep the pastry maker on Long Island, the IDA offered a $588,377 reduction in property taxes over 12 years, a $41,401 sales-tax exemption and $27,563 off the mortgage recording tax.
IDA board member Grant Hendricks said Pidy's purchase of a building in Central Islip would help revive the neighborhood. The move, he said, "will help continue the little comeback we're seeing there. "