Buffalo, NY, August 21, 2013 – Rich Products Corporation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Fort Erie, Ontario plant, located at 12 Hagey Ave., in a special ceremony featuring associates, retired associates, business partners, local elected officials and friends on Friday, August 23 at 11 a.m.
Rich’s Chairman Bob Rich Jr. began his 50-year career at the facility when he launched the Rich’s Canada business in 1963, and it became the cornerstone of the company’s international growth. With expansion and joint ventures, Rich’s Canada also includes sales and marketing offices, a second plant in Woodbridge, Ontario and 365 total associates.
“The Fort Erie plant has such a great story and has always held a significant place in Rich’s history since it was the first venture outside of Buffalo,” said Rich. “It gave us the opportunity to build our sales and marketing offices as we traveled to all 10 provinces during those years. We are looking forward to commemorating the occasion with longtime associates who continue to make the plant such an important part of the Fort Erie community.”
Plant manager Scott VeRost will present Rich with a signed Canadian flag and gifts from associates. Dignitaries scheduled to speak at the event include Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin, Kim Craitor, Minister of Provincial Parliament for Niagara Falls and the Honorable Jim Bradley, Minister of Provincial Parliament for St. Catharines and Minister of the Environment.
“We have benefited from a strong legacy of continuous leadership at Fort Erie, from Jay Rich who guided the facility for nearly 25 years to his son Howard who spent 16 of his 22 years in Canada as the Division President,” Rich said. “Tom Quinn, former plant general manager, really modernized the facility in the ‘90s during his 10 years there, and now Scott and his team are doing an outstanding job of carrying on the tradition.”
After the presentation, there will be pictures taken of the dignitaries in front of a commemorative banner as well as an aerial photo of all associates gathering in the form of the number 50 outlined in the grass. Associates will have an outdoor lunch and also participate in an anniversary softball game the following day against Rich’s associates from the World Headquarters in Buffalo.
“It is a memorable week for all of the past and current associates at the Rich’s Fort Erie plant,” said VeRost. “We will mark the occasion by recognizing many associates who have worked here for more than 30 years, and there are five associates who have worked here between 40 and 50 years.”
The plant began operations with just three associates and is now the city’s largest employer with more than 250 associates producing 300 different products a year, including bread, parbaked bread, cinnamon buns, rolls and pizza. It has surpassed 100 million cases over the five decades and continues to be Rich’s anchor business in Canada. Last year’s acquisition of the Dorgel Ltd. & Elistan Food, a manufacturer and marketer of frozen desserts and ice cream cakes sold across Canada, demonstrated Rich’s continued commitment to its business throughout the country.
In August 2012, the plant partnered with Waster Management to become the first Rich’s operation to be recognized as a “Zero Waste-to-Landfill Facility” that required at least 95 percent of all waste generated to be diverted away from landfills. The plant attained a 98-percent level of waste diversion through a rigorous sorting and recycling program.