Pittsfield pizza bakery Rustic Crust ready to rebuild after fire
Despite some hurdles that almost forced him to look outside of Pittsfield, he said he’s excited to break ground this Thursday on a new 27,000-square-foot facility at the site of the old bakery.
“If we’re able to make things work for the community, you know, 120 people working here on a regular basis, whether they live in town or not, they’re buying gas they’re eating here. There’s an economic benefit for the town,” he said. “The way I looked at it, the town’s treated us well in the process of trying to rebuild. There’s been a few hiccups that could have caused us to go somewhere else, but the town addressed them ... and it made sense for us. It’s good for everybody.”
Within a month of the fire, Rustic Crust constructed a temporary bakery within its 65,000-square-foot Main Street warehouse, a feat in and of itself. Yet with the limited space, Sterl said his company had to hire about 20 temporary workers to help close the production gap.
“We really didn’t lose any customers that we’re aware of at this time,” Sterl said. “We kind of hit the market just as everybody was actually running out on the shelf, so to speak, and we were able to start stocking everything up again.”
“The employees are happy, they’re working 50 to 60 hours a week ... so they’re all getting overtime, very consistent overtime, just trying to keep up with the status quo of the orders,” Sterl said. “Some of the (temporary workers) might end up getting on the payroll full-time, but they’re temporary in that they’re still working 30 to 40 hours a week right now, but we’ll have to see how things transition as we get into the new facility.