NMTC Case Study for Sweet Street Desserts
Sweet Street Desserts, which has more than 700 employees and is headquartered in Reading, PA, is considered the premier gourmet dessert manufacturer in the world, providing a wide range of dessert products in more than 60 countries globally. Many of the world’s leading food service establishments — including well-known hotels, restaurants, cafes and upscale supermarkets — serve Sweet Street products as their own. Sweet Street is consistently voted by food service professionals as the most innovative and one of the Top 10 food service suppliers in the U.S.
Sweet Street purchased a vacant bakery in Greenville County, formerly used by the Sara Lee Corporation until its closure in 2009. They renovated the 120,000 square foot building and equipped it to produce dessert and pasta products. The project revitalized the long-dormant facility with new machinery and equipment, transforming it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant capable of handling multiple baking processes. At the time the facility closed, most of Sara Lee’s 200 employees either lost their jobs or were forced to relocate. Sweet Street Desserts will bring employment opportunities back to this LIC. Sweet Street hired the former Sara Lee plant manager as its plant manager and conducted efforts to locate additional Sara Lee employees.
The project supported 271 direct jobs (100 permanent and 171 construction) with permanent jobs paying an average wage 189% higher than the LIC’s per capita income. In addition, employees were offered benefits such as health and dental insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, profit sharing and 401K plans, and paid vacation. Employees have access to opportunities for job training and advancement, including financial assistance for educational courses that are closely related to the employee’s present job or that allow for advancement within the company. Recruitment assistance and training are provided by ReadySC, a division of the SC Technical College System.
To encourage the accessibility of jobs to LIC residents and to support wage progression, Sweet Street created, in partnership with Apprenticeship Carolina™ and Greenville Technical College, a no-charge registered apprenticeship program for nine separate apprenticeship tracks. Each track, certified by the U.S. Department of Labor and part of the SC Technical College System, will be maintained throughout the seven-year compliance period.