LVEDC helps bring French baked-goods manufacturer to Northampton County

Jennifer Glose//March 7, 2016

LVEDC helps bring French baked-goods manufacturer to Northampton County

Jennifer Glose//March 7, 2016

To Northampton County, that is.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday announced that Norac S.A. of Rennes, France, will expand its global operations and establish its first American manufacturing facility on Braden Boulevard in Forks Township.

Through its subsidiary, Norac Group USA, which makes bread and bakery products, the company will build a 79,160-square-foot facility and will bring with it 62 new jobs over the next three years.

The efforts to bring Norac to the Greater Lehigh Valley were coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania. The group works in collaboration with the Office of International Business Development and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

“The collaborative efforts … exemplify that we can have a government that works on all levels,” Wolf said.

According to Wolf’s office, Norac USA received a funding proposal from the state Department of Community & Economic Development that includes a Pennsylvania First program grant for $186,000, $124,000 in job creation tax credits and $27,900 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

The company also has been encouraged to apply for a $2.4 million low-interest loan, including $1 million from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.

Incorporated in 2004, Norac employs more than 3,700 worldwide and produces the leading bakery snack in France. Under the brand Bakerly, Norac USA is introducing a natural alternative to traditional bakery snacks for supermarkets across the nation. Its product line includes chocolate- and strawberry-filled crepes and chocolate croissants.

“We’re very pleased that Norac has chosen to build a facility in the Lehigh Valley, part of a growing trend of overseas companies investing in our region,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

LVEDC tracked the Lehigh Valley’s major business attraction/expansion projects in 2015 and found that 42 percent of them were from overseas companies, including Nihon Kohden of Japan, Safan of France, Fuling Plastics of China, Primark of Ireland and SunOpta of Canada.

Last summer, LVEDC and the state Office of International Business Development embarked on a business development tour of Western Europe, in hopes to attract foreign direct investment.

“This is an example of the important partnership between the state and LVEDC when it comes to international business recruitment,” Cunningham said.