Kettle Cuisine and its 138 jobs moving to Lynn

January 29, 2013
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

Even as they push to bring 500 supermarket jobs to Federal Street, city economic officials are putting the finishing touches on Lynnway and Wyoma Square job creation projects.

Chelsea soup maker Kettle Cuisine is poised to bring 138 new jobs to Lynn in a deal with Lynnway property owner Arthur Papathanasi, said city development officials.

Mindful that Kettle Cuisine’s Chelsea operation has grown, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and other city officials competed with other cities last year to attract the manufacturer to 330 Lynnway.

Settling Kettle Cuisine into a Lynn location means moving Greater Lynn Senior Services’ van and car fleet to newly created parking on Bubier Street and Blossom Street extension where a parking lot and docking area for a future water ferry is under construction.

Rolly and Wendy Hayes, owners of the recently expanded Rolly’s Tavern in Wyoma Square. The restaurant is continuing improvements with an overhaul of its kitchen and plumbing.
Rolly and Wendy Hayes, owners of the recently expanded Rolly’s Tavern in Wyoma Square. The restaurant is continuing improvements with an overhaul of its kitchen and plumbing. (Item File Photo)

GLSS Director Paul Crowley called the senior service agency’s move “one piece of a complicated puzzle” involving Kettle Cuisine. “We’re not moving, but once this happens we’ll be just shifting a little bit to accommodate Kettle,” Crowley said.

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation members approved a lease to provide parking for GLSS for Papathanasi’s signature Tuesday with the condition that the 60 spaces — if needed — can be used in the future for ferry passenger parking.

“As soon as the lease is signed, Kettle Cuisine will sign a lease,” Economic Development Director James Cowdell said.

According to its website, Kettle Cuisine in summer 2012 “entered into a business partnership with the Arlon Food and Agriculture Investment Program to advance the company’s growth into new markets … ‘’The site traces the firm’s history to 1986 when founder Jerry Shafir started selling restaurants “high quality, fresh refrigerated soup.”

In an interview last September, Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash called Kettle Cuisine “a responsible employer and great corporate citizen.”

Kennedy and Cowdell last week confirmed supermarket chain owner DeMoulas wants to put a Market Basket store on Federal Street once a realty holding firm and General Electric complete the sale of GE’s Factory of the Future land to the holding firm.

A local attorney for the firm said the store would employ 100 full-time and 400 part-time workers.

On Tuesday, EDIC also moved to assist Rolly’s Tavern in Wyoma Square to finance the next phase of its renovation/expansion, a $120,000 project that will including new plumbing and kitchen work at the popular eatery.

EDIC Chairman Charles Gaeta said Rolly’s has added jobs and made “a definite impact” on Wyoma Square.

“It’s good they are expanding down there,” he said.

Rolly’s principal Rolly Hayes is working with fellow Wyoma merchants and city officials to expand the city parking lot located between the square and Charles Reinfuss Field.

The plan includes expanding the lot, and providing exits and entrances from the lot into the square and on Broadway near Walgreens.

Kennedy wants the lot transferred from the Off Street Parking Commission to the city, and transformed into a model through improving city lots with automated parking and other changes.

Commissioners have said the commission does not have enough money to pay for lot upgrades.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at

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