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Significant Expansion at Ice Cream Plant in Dunkirk

Wells Enterprises’ New Manufacturing Facility Will Retain 401 Jobs and Create More Than 200 New Jobs for the Production of Ice Cream and Frozen Novelty Products

See Rendering of State-of-the-Art Plant Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Wells Enterprises is planning to expand its manufacturing facility in Dunkirk, making a significant investment to create a world-class ice cream plant on its current property. The project will allow the company to add more than 200 new jobs and retain 401 existing full-time jobs. New York State is supporting the project with up to $10 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $6 million grant from Empire State Development in exchange for job creation and capital investment commitments. The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is also working with the management team of Wells to provide the support necessary for company executives to officially greenlight the project.

“The new, state-of-art ice cream manufacturing plant in Chautauqua County will create jobs and spur economic growth for years to come,” Governor Hochul said. “This project is a win for hundreds of plant workers, a victory for many local business partners that benefit from the facility, and an important success story for the region’s overall economy.”

Liam Killeen, CEO of Wells Enterprises said, “We are extremely excited to build on the strength of our team in Dunkirk and continue to work with the community to grow and expand our operations here. The investment in Dunkirk illustrates our passion to provide high-quality premium ice cream products that bring joy to consumers around the world. The planned expansion also reinforces our dedication to our team, consumers, and the community as a critical part of the long-term future of our company.”

The Dunkirk manufacturing facility, located at 1 Ice Cream Drive, plays an important role in the company’s expansion plans for its national manufacturing network of its Blue Bunny, Halo Top, Bomb Pop and Blue Ribbon Classics brands. The expansion is anticipated to more than double the facility's current production capacity and help support the company’s continued plans for growth in novelty and packaged ice cream, while enabling future innovation.

Construction will begin on the new facility in the last quarter of 2023. It will include all new production lines, cold storage, and administrative office space. Wells will continue to manufacture ice cream products in the existing facility while construction of the new plant is underway.

The company’s success is strongly supported by local dairy farmers who provide the majority of the fluid milk used at the facility today. The planned expansion will continue to utilize millions of pounds of dairy annually. That number is expected to grow along with the overall consumption of ice cream. Fortune Business Insights estimates the global ice cream market will reach $104.96 billion in 2029, up from $71.52 billion in 2021—a 46 percent jump in less than a decade due to the world’s craving for ice cream.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Together we have changed the story in Dunkirk from a major loss to a huge win. The construction of Wells' new state-of-the art ice cream plant will add hundreds of jobs — it's a sweet victory for the community, and ESD is proud to have played a role in negotiating. Whether it is ice cream, yogurt, or cereal, the food manufacturing industry is an important ingredient for our economy. The new high tech production facility in Dunkirk is a taste of the job growth and business opportunity that New York has experienced under Governor Hochul’s leadership.”

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