Hot Dog!

Interstate Bakeries opts to keep Jamaica factory running, retaining hundreds of jobs

Interstate Bakeries opts to keep Jamaica factory running, retaining hundreds of jobs

Crain’s New York

Hot dogs won’t lack buns in Queens

By Hilary Potkewitz

Published: February 22, 2009 – 5:59 am

Residents of Jamaica, Queens, can sleep soundly. Their buns are staying in the oven.

After emerging from bankruptcy early this month, Interstate Bakeries Corp. wasted no time in trumpeting the glad tidings: Its Jamaica factory, the city’s largest maker of hot dog rolls, will remain open. The century-old plant on 268th Street and Douglas Avenue has about 350 full-time and more than 100 part-time workers. Its products are made under the Wonder Bread and Nature’s Pride labels.

“This was extraordinary news for us,” says Richard Werber, director of the business services group at the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. “We want to hold on to those manufacturing companies, because generally speaking, their jobs pay far better than retail jobs and provide a clearer and higher ladder for advancement.”

About 70% of the plant’s employees live in Queens, according to GJDC data. Kansas City-based Interstate filed for Chapter 11 in 2004. It has closed several facilities in the Midwest, eliminating hundreds of jobs.

Though the Jamaica plant isn’t Interstate’s most advanced facility, New York is one of the company’s largest markets, so keeping production here made sense, according to Interstate.

As a bonus, New York ranks No. 1 in the nation’s top 10 hot dog-eating cities, buying about $113 million worth of franks a year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s most recent survey. That’s not surprising, given the Big Apple’s multiple sports arenas, Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous and an army of street vendors.

Queens also has bragging rights in that Shea Stadium beat out other Major League Baseball venues in the all-important hot dog sales standings, the council says. Mets fans ate more than 2 million dogs—with buns—last season, barely six miles from Interstate Bakeries’ cargo bay.

Advertisements

Turf War Brewing in New York City Parks

Customers in the Cafe are starting to wonder if Parks & Recreation will ever get it right.

NYC Park - Use at your own risk

NYC Park - Use at your own risk

From 1010 WINS

Posted: Sunday, 08 February 2009 7:16PM

Turf War Brewing in New York City Parks

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A turf war is brewing in New York City.

The city council will hold a hearing Monday on a bill that would ban new installation of artifical turf on city ballfields until all the fields can be tested.

Environmental groups say it’s because lead tests done on the turf in East Harlem’s Thomas Jefferson Park came back four times higher than previously disclosed.

But the Parks Department says new tests found no further evidence of elevated lead levels and rejected the call for a moratorium.

“The contaminated field at Thomas Jefferson Park is promptly being removed and replaced,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Thankfully, this appears to be an isolated finding.”

The council bill would mandate the removal of a controversial rubber infill which is made from recycled tires and a petroleum-based product containing more than two dozen different chemicals including arsenic, lead and zinc. These products have been known to be hazardous to people and the environment.