Shire City Herbals to Build $1.2M Production Facility in Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD — Shire City Herbals, maker of the apple-cider-vinegar-based health tonics known as Fire Cider, announced plans to build and operate a production facility in the company’s hometown of Pittsfield. The company plans to begin construction this month, and will relocate its shipping and administrative offices to the new location this spring. In addition, the company is launching a nationwide rollout in GNC stores over the next month.
The new, $1.2 million, 20,000-square-foot facility will enable Shire City Herbals to increase its production capacity with the intent to expand distribution throughout the U.S. and Canada. Production at the new facility is scheduled to begin in fall 2017, with a bottling line to come online in 2018.
Owners Amy Huebner, Dana St. Pierre, and Brian Huebner worked with Billy Keane at Jan Perry Realty; David Harrington, vice president of Lee Bank; and David Curtis from 1Berkshire to purchase 15 Commercial St. in Pittsfield’s East Street neighborhood. The building was originally constructed in 1952 and was used as a bottling plant by Coca-Cola until the late 1950s.
Huebner has also secured the professional services of the Dennis Group for architectural and engineering design. Springfield-based Dennis Group offers complete planning, architectural, process-engineering, and construction-management services exclusively to the food and beverage industries nationwide.
Shire City Herbals contracted Massachusetts-based general contractor Steve Mauter to construct a 6,500-square-foot kitchen to make its line of apple-cider-vinegar health tonics. The company is working with Lee Bank to finance expansion, and has received tax incentives from the city of Pittsfield. Shire City Herbals has also been working with the city’s Community Development Department and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp. regarding tax incentives.
Started in 2011, Shire City Herbals first produced Fire Cider in a commercial kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. In 2012, the company moved production operations to the Franklin County Community Development Corp. Food Processing Center in Greenfield. For the past four years, the company’s production needs have grown exponentially to ultimately become one of the largest producers in the space.
“Adding to the economic health and well-being of Berkshire County has always been an underlying tenet of our business philosophy,” said Dana St. Pierre, CEO. “Being able to purchase and revitalize a building along the once vital East Street corridor, while adding jobs to the area, allows us to be a part of the rebirth of a city we love to call home.”