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Food company announces major investment in Buffalo HQ

Rich Products is making a major investment at its Niagara Street headquarters in Buffalo.  The company has announced it will invest $18.45 million to expand and create a Customer Innovation Center.

The state will offer $4.4 million in capital grants and tax incentives.  Lt. Governor Robert Duffy appeared at Rich Products Monday morning to announce the state's contribution to the expansion plan.

"Rich's is synonymous with Buffalo in so many different ways. I still call the Buffalo Bills' stadium Rich Stadium. It's a name that is clearly one that has made a huge impact here. It's one of the largest family-owned food businesses in the country," Duffy said.

The Rich Atrium will undergo a major redesign as part of the project.  Rich Products CEO William Gisel says the state-of-the-art Customer Innovation Center will allow the company to better interact with its global customers.

"Which is going to really become the focal point of our interaction with customers from around the world," said Gisel.  "This place will look completely different and will definitely have a sense of customers about it."

Duffy says the expansion will protect 651 current jobs at Rich's and create 17 new jobs.

"We are in such a competitive environment today. Other states are pulling in our companies, trying to pull our jobs away. When companies make decisions like Rich's to stay here and grow, it's time to celebrate," Duffy added.

Construction will begin in the next month. The expansion is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.