A maker of pizza shells and flatbreads was awarded low-cost electricity on Wednesday to support $2 million worth of improvements to its Deer Park factory, officials said.
The Ultra-Thin Pizza Shells & Flatbreads Co. secured 120 kilowatts for seven years under the state Power Authority’s ReCharge NY program. In return, the company will retain 23 jobs and install new ovens, freezers, conveyors and ventilation equipment for the production of pizza shells, or crusts, and flatbreads.
Ultra-Thin Pizza was among four local companies to have their power applications approved by the authority’s board of trustees at a meeting in White Plains.
Other recipients are WHTB Glass LLC in Shirley, Great South Bay Brewery Corp. in Bay Shore and Crescent Duck Farm Inc. in Aquebogue, the last duck farm on Long Island.
At Ultra-Thin Pizza, operations director Beau Bronsky said the cheap electricity will help the company remain competitive against rivals in Indiana, Ohio and other states where costs are lower. "We're always looking to do things as efficiently as possible, to reduce our overhead," he said.
Ultra-Thin Pizza was founded in 1996 by Bronsky's father, Doug, and Cherise Kramer based on recipes from Bronsky’s great-grandfather, Joseph Salamone. Ultra-Thin Pizza makes pizza crusts and flatbreads for food service companies, such as Dot Foods, DiCarlo Food Service and Sysco.
The company moved to Deer Park from Garden City Park in 2016 with help from the Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency.
"We are hoping to launch a gourmet, high-end line of pizza products," Beau Bronsky said Wednesday, explaining the need for new equipment. "We're looking to diversify our product offerings."
Ultra-Thin Pizza has a sister company, Douglas Crafted Foods, which develops items for the food service industry, such as a vegetable and cheese appetizer called Veggie Bursts.
The ReCharge NY electricity is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River upstate, not by plants burning fossil fuels, according to Authority CEO Gil C. Quiniones.
Among the latest power recipients, WHTB Glass LLC was allocated the most power: 2,460 kilowatts for a new factory in Shirley. The company also is creating the most jobs, 34, and investing the most in its operations, $10.5 million for equipment.
A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.
WHTB is part of Beijing Wuhuatianbao Glass Co. Ltd., China’s largest fabricator of glass for building exteriors and interiors. The Shirley plant is the company’s first in the United States and now employs 16 people.
WHTB was granted a previous power allocation in late 2016 but didn’t finalize its contract because plans for the Shirley plant were in flux, said authority spokesman Paul DeMichele. The company has received tax breaks from the Brookhaven Town IDA.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday, "These low-cost power allocations to companies on Long Island help to ensure the sustained economic health for the region." He added that the ReCharge program was started in 2012 "and nowhere has it been more effective than on Long Island, where it is currently linked to more than 75,000 jobs at nearly 200 enterprises, more than any other region in the state.”