Londonderry poultry plant

Poultry Products Northeast plans to spend $28 million to build a processing and distribution plant in Londonderry.

LONDONDERRY — A major food distribution company intends to build a 105,000-square-foot poultry processing and distribution plant on Jacks Bridge Road.

Poultry Products Northeast (PPNE) will invest $28 million to build the plant, according to a statement Wednesday, with Chicago-based Brennan Investment Group managing development.

News of the new processing facility was tied to the announcement that long-time PPNE owner Julian Stogniew had sold the company to a private ownership group, which is investing in the new Granite State facility.

The new ownership group was not named in Wednesday’s statement, but said several of those involved have been involved with PPNE for years and have an “intimate” understanding of the company, it said.

CEO Bill Conrad said the company plans to move out of its current distribution center and headquarters in Hooksett and that the new Londonderry facility should be operational by next January.

The new plant will be located on Jacks Bridge Road near the Coca-Cola of Northern New England bottling plant, with construction expected to begin in March.

“We’re really excited to be moving into Londonderry,” Conrad said.

The company currently employs about 300 people between three locations. The other two locations are in East Windsor, Conn., and Vassalboro, Maine.

The new facility will be more than four times larger than what the company now has in Hooksett. It will feature 40,000 square feet of warehouse space, an 18,000-square-foot refrigerated dock, 8,000 square feet of processing space and a 3,000-square-foot test kitchen and presentation space.

Conrad said the Hooksett property will be sold and the new building will be leased from Brennan under a 20-year lease. They don’t have any plans to buy it, but Conrad said they hope to add another 50,000 square feet within the next 10 to 15 years.

“We’ll be able to bring in more equipment, we’ll be able to employ more people and we’ll be able to produce far more product compared to what we can do in the current building,” Conrad said.

Some of the initial employment growth is expected to be in the new processing room. Long term, the company hopes to add positions in distribution as well.

Conrad said he hopes to add about 100 jobs company-wide over the next decade.

While he was not authorized to name the new owners by press-time, he said they consisted of a local family and a family from out of state, with investors behind them, as well as two senior managers and two members of the board of advisers.

Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith said the investment speaks to how well the economy in New Hampshire is doing.

“Certainly, as a town, we’re excited to be growing again,” Smith said. “It helps keep everybody’s taxes low.”

Smith said the company obtained planning board approval in 2017, but had been waiting on the financing.

In a statement, Conrad said he is grateful for Stogniew and the employees who worked to build the business into what it is today.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without their efforts and commitment,” Conrad said. “With his blessing, we are excited to look forward to the future.”

PPNE is one of the largest independently-owned food distribution companies in New England and upstate New York. They have over 3,000 customers and distribute beef, poultry, pork, seafood, lamb, veal and ethnic specialties.

Monday, October 14, 2019