Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Jan 27, 2022
Lyman Orchards, known for its fruit pies, donuts and other baked treats, has moved its baking operations to New Haven. The Middlefield-based business needed room to grow its wholesale bakery business, according to Gary Jalbert, president and CEO.
The Middlefield-based business needed room to grow its wholesale bakery business, according to Gary Jalbert, president and CEO.
In December, the business purchased two manufacturing facilities in New Haven, one at 724 Grand Ave. and one at 240 Sargent Dr., also known as 106-108 Food Terminal Plaza, for $3 million.
Workers started baking at the Grand Avenue location in December, and at Sargent Drive this week, the company announced.
“This acquisition is very exciting for Lyman Orchards, as it enables us to continue supporting the growth of our wholesale bakery operation, it lessens our dependency on weather, and enables us to keep our current production staff fully employed,” Lyman Orchards said, in an announcement.
Jalbert in recent years has boosted the wholesale bakery operations so Lyman’s success wouldn’t be as dependent on the weather. In the past, the business had experienced weather-related downturns, which adversely impacted its other divisions, particularly tourism, events and pick-your-own fruit.
The wholesale bakery division is now the largest part of Lyman Orchards’ operations, according to the company.
According to Jalbert, it was important that the family-owned business’ manufacturing facility be located near the farm to minimize any impact on employees, many of whom have been working there for more than a decade.
The Apple Barrel Farm Market in Middlefield was too small to accommodate the burgeoning bakery operation, so Lyman Orchards in 2020 began looking for a larger space, Jalbert said. It focused its search along the I-91 corridor.
The search coincided with a bankruptcy filing by Something Sweet, Inc., which had been operating two bakery facilities in New Haven for nearly three decades.
Jalbert said Lyman Orchards purchased Something Sweet’s assets during an auction in September, and closed on the purchase in October. At the same time, they worked with the owner of the property, the founder of Something Sweet, to purchase the two New Haven sites, he added.
Lyman Orchards did renovations and repairs to get the facilities ready for operation. Last month, it hired back approximately 20 employees, including some former workers from Something Sweet, according to Jalbert.