Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf visited Bethlehem on Monday, July 12 to tour Factory LLC, a company located near Steelstacks. (Courtesy of governortomwolf/Creative Commons)

Gov. Wolf visits Bethlehem start-ups working with Factory LLC to promote investment

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Gov. Tom Wolf visited South Bethlehem-based Factory LLC, a food and beverage brand investment company on Monday in an effort to promote investment in Pennsylvania start-ups.

During his visit Wolf also met with affiliated companies including Mikey’s, Pipcorn, Stuffed Puffs, Honey Stinger, and ROAR Organic – these companies relocated to the Lehigh Valley after gaining investments from Factory. 

“Companies like Factory play a critical role in bolstering Pennsylvania’s workforce and economy,” Wolf said in a news release provided by his office. “Their unique approach to supporting start-up companies serves as a model to investors and helps set new businesses up for long-term success.”

He said his administration has been committed to investing in local businesses and workers since he entered office. 

Mikey’s relocated to Bethlehem from Phoenix, Arizona after an investment in 2018. The company produces gluten-free and dairy-free frozen snacks and meals. 

“We have access to the resources of a far bigger company—from supply chain to product development to sales relationships—that give us a competitive edge,” Mikey’s President Joey Piazza said.

Pipcorn relocated to the Lehigh Valley from Brooklyn, New York.

Pipcorn Co-Founder Jeff Martin said since moving to the area, the company has worked with local communities and teams on-hand at Factory to create its products.

Stuffed Puffs, which manufactures chocolate-stuffed marshmallows, has worked with Wolf before through the Governor’s Action Team. 

The team works with businesses considering relocating to or expanding in Pennsylvania. Stuffed Puffs received a funding award to purchase and renovate manufacturing space in Hanover Township, which it began using in March 2021. 

“We are grateful for the support from the great state of Pennsylvania to help make the project happen,” Stuffed Puffs Founder and CEO Mike Tierney said. “Thanks to the opening of the new facility, we’ve been able to create over 135 new jobs and counting in the Lehigh Valley.”

Throughout 2020, the Governor’s Action Team allocated over $2 billion to private investment, creating jobs, mostly in manufacturing. 

Founder and Managing Partner of Factory LLC Richard Thompson said they chose to build the business in Bethlehem because of its thriving business community, concentration of experienced professionals, proximity to top-tier universities for interns, and supportive state and local officials.

He said Factory plans to grow and bring more start-ups and jobs to Pennsylvania.

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