Hanover Twp., Luzerne County, PA -
Berwick-based Wise Foods Inc., the popular potato chip and Cheez Doodle maker, is opening a distribution center along the South Valley Parkway that was originally built to be an indoor vertical farming facility.
Wise, which already has 14 distribution centers along the East Coast of the United States, plans to open a new location in NorthPoint Development’s Building 4 on Tradepoint Road, a site constructed for Upward Farms before the fledgling business ceased operations.
Missouri-based NorthPoint Development, which has developed multiple warehouses in the South Valley, submitted plans to the township to retrofit the 250,000 square-foot building to meet Wise’s needs, township Manager Sam Guesto confirmed Tuesday.
Those plans are currently under review by a third-party inspection company to insure compliance with township building codes, Guesto said.
“We are pleased to have Wise branch out into our township. We are looking forward to working with them to occupy the building,” Guesto said. “We are pleased NorthPoint was able to repurpose that building so quickly and we expect work to begin soon.”
The building was constructed for Brooklyn, New York-based Upward Farms, which announced plans to turn it into the “world’s largest vertical organic farm,” but the company said in April that it was ceasing operations due to an “infinitely complex” business model it attempted.
Guesto said he believes Wise will continue to produce its products at its facility in Berwick.
Efforts to reach officials at Wise or its parent company, Mexico-based Arca Continental, were unsuccessful on Tuesday.
Arca Continental’s website says Wise has two manufacturing plants and 14 distribution centers.
According to a January report on the popular food website mashed.com, Wise produces more than 50 million bags of snacks each month, including 23 million bags of potato chips. That figure was also mentioned in a 2021 episode on Wise on the History Channel show “Modern Marvels.”
Wise has long been the official potato chip and Cheez Doodle of the New York Mets baseball team.
Founded in 1921 by Berwick grocery store owner Earl Wise, who started making chips in his mother’s kitchen with leftover potatoes from his shop, the company was sold to Borden Condensed Milk Co. in 1964. In 2000, the company was bought by New York City-based investment firm of Palladium Equity Partners, which sold the brand to Arca Continental in 2012.
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