(Editor’s note: The following is the first of a two-part series concerning area businesses named amongst the top 100 businesses by Pennsylvania Business Central newspaper. The final installment of the series will appear in tomorrow’s edition.)
A number of businesses located in Northern Blair along with the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation have been named among the top 100 businesses in a 16-county area in the central and western part of the state, according to Pennsylvania Business Central newspaper.
The businesses were listed in alphabetical order in the most recent edition of the business bi-weekly which is published by King Publishing of State College.
Pennsylvania Business Central also featured a brief overview of the businesses named. In addition to ABCD other businesses featured were DelGrosso Foods, New Pig Corp. and Reclamere Inc.
In highlighting ABCD, the newspaper cited 2003’s high profile achievement for the economic development agency headed by President and CEO Martin J. Marasco.
The achievement just happened to be the top story of the year for The Daily Herald. The reopening of the paper mill in Tyrone. The mill is now operated by Team Ten LLC under the name, American Eagle. The $12 million dollar project employs at least 160 people after the plant had been vacant for almost two years.
According to Pennsylvania Business Central, ABCD’s Blair County Development Corp. owned the property which also created KOZ status allowing the mill to have certain tax exemptions. The development agency also arraigned for other incentives.
Other achievements included the 40-acre I-99 Enterprise Campus which was completed in November. The I-99 Technology Corridior initiative was launched and many of the vacant buildings in the county have been turned over. New Pig moved into the C-Cor building and has received separate honors by being included in the top 100 list.
Additional ABCD highlights:
•Warneco occupied Butterick and Shirley’s Cookies expanded to the Komar building;
•the agency processed 44 projects in 2003 and secured $27.1 million in project funding which resulted in 572 new jobs committed and 678 jobs retained; and
•ABCD’s 2003 direct investments totaled $48.3 million according to Pennsylvania Business Central.
The business newspaper also highlighted DelGrosso’s Foods, described as a producer of Italian foods and more. The company’s CEO is Joseph DelGrosso.
The food company has a long history, in the 1940s, DelGrosso’s Cafe, at 17th Street and 8th Avenue in Altoona was widely hailed as serving the best spaghetti dinner in town. What set DelGrosso’s apart was the homemade spaghetti sauce made by Ferdinand and Mafalda DelGrosso according to the feature article appearing Pennsylvania Business Central.
The DelGrosso’s saw the potential for commercial production of the popular sauce, and in 1946, they sold the cafe and bought Bland’s Amusement Park and Restaurant in Tipton, mainly because the kitchen was ideal for the production of their flagship product.
DelGrosso’s has since expanded into today’s huge and modern plant where they continue to grow the product line. DelGrosso’s now makes Sloppy Joe sauce, meatballs and other products.
In 2000, Bland’s Park name was changed to DelGrosso’s Amusement Park. The food at the park is considered by some to be the finest amusement park food in the country.
Saturday, The Daily Herald will highlight the other two area businesses which ranked in the Pennsylvania Business Central top 100 for 2003.
Those businesses are New Pig Corp. of Tipton and Reclamere, Inc. in Tyrone. Almost a dozen other businesses in Blair County made the list and those entities will also be noted tomorrow in the second of this two part article.
(Pennsylvania Business Central provided background information for this article.)