Two family-owned and operated Adams County fruit growing companies, Bear Mountain Orchards and Bream Orchards, have expanded their cooperative cold storage facility via financing secured through the nonprofit Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC).
Bream and Bear Operating Company was founded in 2008; both parent companies have been in the fruit farming business since 1935. They joined forced to build a cold storage facility, beginning construction in 2009.
“ACEDC applauds the partnership between Bream and Bear, to creatively find a solution to the lack of fresh fruit storage in Adams County,” says Kaycee Kemper, Vice President of ACEDC. “Today, the expansion of their joint facility further enhances their ability to maximize the yields of their fresh fruit crops.”
“There is a gradual shift from growing processing apples (used in applesauce and juice) to producing fresh fruit, leading to a greater need for cold storage,” according to John Lott of Bear Mountain Orchards.
Lott says the facility’s initial construction, coupled with the new expansion, has made a positive impact on both fruit growing businesses. He adds that working with ACEDC has been “great.”
According to Kemper, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) has invested $2.7 million between the two loans. These funds leveraged $5.6 million in private funding.
“With a project of this size, low rate-fixed financing is imperative for the borrower. ACEDC is happy to partner yet again with Bream and Bear to make this expansion a reality; the project further solidifies the relationship between economic development and the agricultural community,” Kemper states.
This project marks the 43nd loan facilitated by ACEDC to Adams County’s agricultural community since 1996. Previous loan projects, located throughout the entire county, supported projects that included cattle, orchards, chickens, crop production, eggs, turkeys, and wineries. Agriculture is considered one of Adams County’s three main pillars of industry, sharing that distinction with tourism and manufacturing/industrial.
ACEDC is certified annually by DCED in order to process and administer loan and grant programs for Adams County’s businesses. ACEDC began administering loans to the agricultural and tourism industries during Governor Edward G. Rendell’s administration, 2003-2011, thanks to revised and restructured state policies.
Over the past nine years, ACEDC has helped Adams County businesses secure more than $26.5 million in total public investment via low-interest loans and grants from DCED and more than $74 million in total private investment via local commercial financing, creating 587 new jobs and retaining 1,520 jobs in Adams County.
ACEDC is a private, 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1989 as a result of a task force initiated by Adams County business leaders. The corporation is governed by a board of director comprised of many local and regional community leaders from all sectors of industry. ACEDC’s mission is to improve the economy of Adams County while preserving and enhancing the quality of life by formulating, implementing and promoting economic development strategies for sustained investment and employment opportunities in Adams County. For more information, see acedc.org or call 717-334-0042.