Rustic Crust-American Flatbread Receives $500k CDBG Grant from CDFA
Office of External Relations and Communication
The NH Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA
) has approved a Community Development Block Grant award of $500,000 to the town of Pittsfield to help pizza maker Rustic Crust
expand its retail operations and create 25 new jobs.
“This is a rare opportunity to help a local business thrive on the national retail level. This loan will let Rustic Crust meet the demands of their multi-million dollar contracts with Nutrisystem and Costco,” said Kevin Flynn, Communications Director for CDFA. “The company has also pledged to create 25 new positions with benefits, nearly all of which will be available to low-to-moderate income residents.”
Founded in 1996 as Ever Better Eating, Pittsfield’s Rustic Crust has experienced a growth rate of 40+% every other year for the past five years. Its two retail brands, Rustic Crust pizza crusts
and American Flatbread frozen pizza
, are carried by 16 supermarket chains – including Hannaford, Shaw’s, Whole Foods Market, and Walmart. The company also holds the exclusive frozen pizza contract with a national diet program. American Flatbread ranks third in year-to-year growth, behind Totino’s and Newman’s Own brands; Rustic Crust is number one in natural crusts.
The CDBG award is granted to Pittsfield and then loaned to Rustic Crust. The money will pay for new equipment, including new wood ovens, conveyers, wrap machines, and freezers. Once the 7% loan is paid back, the money will go into a revolving loan pool for future economic development projects. The CDBG award is one part of the company’s $1.2 million plan to expand manufacturing capacity at its Barnstead Road facility. The balance of the plan will be funded by private equity.
“We think this business expansion will have an immediate impact on the surrounding community. It’s going to add jobs with good benefits, creating an opportunity for many people in Merrimack, Belknap, Strafford and Rockingham counties. Rustic Crust also gets many of its food and cardboard supplies from local vendors, so the company’s increased sales volume will bolster them too,” said Flynn.
The CDBG grant awaits final confirmation from the Executive Council. The CDBG program
funds provide housing and create jobs primarily for low- and moderate-income people. Funds are provided to the state of New Hampshire by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and administered by CDFA. Each project is evaluated on several criteria, including impact on low- and moderate-income residents and the acquisition of matching funding.
CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. CDFA, created by the Legislature in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire. CDFA administers nearly $57 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Energy Reduction Funds. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit www.nhcdfa.org
or call 603-226-2170.