A 169-year-old Vermont business will soon call Essex home.
Blodgett Oven, an oven and steam equipment manufacturer, announced late last month plans to leave Burlington for a 180,000-square-foot facility at 42 Allen Martin Dr. in a deal finalized by its parent company, The Middleby Corporation.
“We’ve experienced double-digit growth every year for the last 10 years,” Erica Havers, vice president and controller, said in a phone interview last Friday. “We are growing. We were able to take on other Middleby brands. Now that we have some more space, we’re in the game to hopefully bring some more business here.”
The company’s 200 workers will continue to work in Burlington while the Essex facility is customized to include office space, a training center and a kitchen.
Signaling the end of an era for Blodgett — which moved into its three Lakeside Ave. buildings in the 1940s — the move culminates a two-decade search for a new location, Havers said.
“We’ve been pretty cramped here in a while,” she said. “We’re really busting at the seams.”
Yet Blodgett tried to “walk a tight line” during the search, Havers said, fearing that if it pushed too hard, its parent company would initiate a move out of state.
“We definitely attribute a lot of our success to our local workforce,” she added. “Hardworking Vermonters help make Blodgett a good brand.”
Greg Morgan, Essex Jct. resident and chairman of the town’s economic development commission, said the move is not only good news for Essex, but for Vermont.
“Essex just did the state a big service by creating an environment where Blodgett could go,” Morgan said.
Blodgett is no stranger to Essex: The company purchased the assets of Massachusetts company Market Forge Industries in 2014 and moved its proprietary steam equipment production to Thompson Drive.
Havers extended gratitude to the Essex town offices and the selectboard, both of which have been very helpful in the process of securing Blodgett’s new location, she said.
“We didn’t do this alone,” she said.