Baldor Specialty Foods, a fresh produce and specialty food distributor, will expand its facility by 100,000 square feet at Hunts Point Food Distribution Center in the borough of the Bronx, NY
The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is one of the largest in the world and includes the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market, the Hunts Point Cooperative Meat Market and New Fulton Fish Market. The nearly $20 million expansion, funded entirely by Baldor, will create 350 new quality jobs in addition to 400 jobs the company has created since moving to the Food Distribution Center in 2007.
According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the expansion will allow Baldor to grow its fresh cuts manufacturing operation and increase its distribution to customers across the City and metropolitan region, including restaurants, hotels, retail food stores, corporate kitchens, nursing homes, hospitals and schools. The project will also serve to promote regional food distribution, adding capacity to Baldor’s current operation that already serves over 50 local farms and partners by distributing 40,000 cases of local product into the regional food system each week during peak season.
“This expansion solidifies our Bronx location as the headquarters of Baldor Specialty Foods,” said TJ Murphy, Owner/CEO of Baldor Specialty Foods. “We are proud to make this investment in the Bronx, to strengthen our commitment to Hunts Point, and to continue to be a strong supporter of the area’s overall economic development.”
Murphy is the son of the firm’s iconic late founder Kevin Murphy. Murphy began his food career in the 1980s at Balducci’s in Greenwich Village when he married Ria Balducci, daughter of the gourmet retail store’s owner, Andrew Balducci. He was trained in every department, learning the food business from the ground up. He expanded and finally took over Balducci’s small wholesale division called “Baldor” in 1991. Mr. Murphy moved the company to a tiny warehouse in the Long Island City section of Queens, NY, and ran the operation with one van and a couple of delivery trucks.
Upon his father’s death in 2013, TJ Murphy and their firm’s visionary Vice President of Sales Michael Muzyk have turned the firm into one of the nation’s fastest growing produce and specialty distributors.
Currently, Baldor occupies a 193,000 square foot warehouse distribution facility with over 1,000 employees located on 13 acres in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, which it leases from the City. The lease amendment will allow Baldor to expand its facility and relocate its parking spaces to the adjacent Halleck Industrial Development site. Baldor was selected through a public Request for Proposals issued in 2013. The project is consistent with the goals of the Hunts Point Vision Plan to catalyze food-related industrial uses and create local jobs.
The majority of Baldor’s current employees are Bronx residents. To fill the jobs generated by this project, Baldor will utilize NYCEDC’s HireNYC program to create a targeted hiring plan. HireNYC is a free City program that connects the City’s workforce development services to economic development projects to provide job access to local, low-income New York City residents. NYCEDC will work in partnership with the Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Workforce1 Career Center to source and screen local candidates for the available positions.
“Hunts Point is home to one of the largest food distribution centers in the world, and Baldor Specialty Foods’ significant investment and expansion will create hundreds of more quality, local jobs for the people of the Bronx,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “Baldor and the rest of the Hunts Point markets are a hub for food distribution and a center for good jobs, enhancing New York City’s connections to regional food networks and bringing fresh produce to dinner tables across all five boroughs.”
“The expansion of Baldor Foods to make its home in Hunts Point is another sign that the Bronx is where businesses want to be,” said New York State Senator Ruben Diaz. “Baldor Foods’ investment will not only help their company expand through New York’s communities, but the hundreds of jobs that will be created will benefit many families here in the Bronx. I look forward to working with Bronx elected officials and businesses to keep our community growing and our families a strong part of the work force.”
Together, approximately half of the food in New York City stores and restaurants passes through the NYCEDC-managed Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The cluster of wholesale markets sits on 329 acres and support 115 private wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 people. In March 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City will invest $150 million over 12 years to enhance the capacity of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, strengthen existing businesses, and attract new entrepreneurs, generating nearly 900 construction jobs and approximately 500 permanent jobs.