Leading catering and events company, Great Performances, the largest food service company owned by a woman in the Tri-State area, launched a new Bronx headquarters this week, assuring 181 new jobs for the borough.
On May 4, Congressman Ritchie Torres, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblywoman Amanda Septimo and Great Performances Founder and Chair Liz Neumark held a ribbon cutting for the facility located in Mott Haven at 2417 Third Avenue.
The company’s move into the space occupying two-and-a-half full floors of the former factory building, which was built out at a cost of $7.7 million, comes more than a year after Great Performances (GP) vacated its much smaller Hudson Square campus in July 2019. Since then, it has been operating out of alternate office space in the Bruckner Building and a temporary kitchen the company built in a warehouse nearby on Park Ave.
“Setting up shop in this new space opens an exciting new chapter in our 40-year history,” Neumark said. “It represents a serious investment, not only financial, but intellectual and emotional as well, in our future, that of The Bronx and of the city’s hospitality sector as a whole. This complex will enable us to maximize the potential of some of the new initiatives we undertook during the pandemic and to recuperate from the effects of the crisis, while providing mechanisms to take our core catering and events business to a new level.”
The facility boasts a state-of-the art 19,000 sq. ft. kitchen, three times larger than its Manhattan predecessor.
There will also be a separate pastry warehouse, purchasing department design studio, training space, support offices and The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching youth the connection between food and health.
A $1 million Empire State Development Grant was awarded to GP by The New York City Regional Economic Development Council to cover a portion of kitchen’s equipment costs, in exchange for 181 new jobs in the Bronx.
“Supporting successful and creative companies like Great Performances will be critical to building back the New York City economy as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Eric Gertler, Empire State Development acting commissioner, president and CEO. “This new headquarters in the Bronx will allow Great Performances to grow, provide needed jobs and contribute to the South Bronx community and beyond.”
Like so many companies, GP pivoted in the face of the pandemic-prompted shut down last March. The temporary kitchen was re-tooled for packaged meal production and GP started preparing and delivering 40,000 meals a week to the elderly. It also partnered with The Sylvia Center to raise funds to provide meals for health care workers, which resulted in the production and delivery of 120,000 meals to 22 hospitals in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Westchester County.
“Great Performances’ new headquarters is bringing renewal and hope to New York’s world-class hospitality industry and back to the Bronx after the toll COVID-19 has taken on the city’s economy and service industries,” Torres said. “I am encouraged by the newfound success hospitality companies are experiencing as we start to emerge out of the pandemic, and I look forward to welcoming employers like Great Performances to the South Bronx to revitalize and diversify our community’s economy.”