Lynn seals deal with soup maker

March 23, 2013
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

 Kettle Cuisine has outgrown its Chelsea digs and is bringing its entire operation to Lynn.

"It's new construction, that's important," said Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell. "It's investing a lot of money for new construction with good quality jobs."

The soup company leased space at 330 Lynnway and is building a structure at the rear of the property. The spot is where a building was demolished after a roof collapsed in January 2011.

Cowdell said the business provides refrigerated and frozen soups for more than 5,000 restaurants and supermarkets nationwide. It will bring 156 employees and create at least 110 new jobs in Lynn over the coming five years, he explained.

Cowdell said some of the jobs will likely go to recent and future graduates of Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, since Kettle Cuisine officials have already reached out to Bonnie Carr, the co-op coordinator at Lynn Tech. The company was also represented at the school's career fair in February.

"We are extremely happy to have Kettle Cuisine coming to Lynn," said Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. "This is a company with a reputation as a good employer and responsible corporate citizen."

The city and Cowdell aggressively recruited Kettle Cuisine, which considered several sites before choosing Lynn. Cowdell said he and EDIC Project Manager Mary Jane Smalley visited the company several times to make a case for Lynn.

"We are very pleased that Kettle Cuisine chose Lynn," he said. "We knew it would be a very competitive process because several other cities were trying to attract them. We focused on making a compelling case as to why Lynn would be the best choice for them, and we are thankful that our message resonated."

In November, the City Council unanimously approved a TIF - Tax Increment Financing - that will give the company a tax break on the approximately $15 million it plans to invest in the move, Cowdell said.

Under the terms of the TIF, the company will receive a 100 percent tax break on the new investment only - not on the existing property - starting in 2014. The tax break decreases by six percent each year for 15 years until the TIF expires.

"The TIF gives us the ability to spend money on other capital improvements that will allow us to stay true to our artisan cooking methods as we grow," said Kettle Cuisine founder and CEO Jerry Shafir.

The company has been in Chelsea since 2000, having expanded to 67,000 square feet in 2006. It will be leasing approximately 200,000 square feet in Lynn, and plans to sublet some of the space.

"It's a well established company," Cowdell said. "It outgrew Chelsea and we welcome them with open arms."

Chris Stevens can be reached at



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