BRONX – The largest importer, distributor, and manufacturer of Greek, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern specialty foods, Krinos Foods opened its new facility in the Bronx on June 15.
Two days earlier, TNH toured the facility and spoke with Krinos Chairman Eric Moscahlaidis. The state-of-the-art facility in the Tremont section of the Bronx is an impressive structure. At 100,000 square feet, the facility cost $25 million and will serve as the new corporate headquarters, manufacturing operation, and distribution center for the company.
The Long Island City plant, in use since 1981, was technologically out of date and no longer large enough for the growing company. Moscahlaidis noted that many suggested the company should move to New Jersey, but he was adamant about staying in New York. “We’re a New York company,” Moscahlaidis remarked. The 2.5 acres in the Bronx is an ideal location with direct access to the Cross-Bronx Expressway.
The energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and 1,743 solar panels generating 70% of the new facility’s power are among the green elements of the facility. The solar panel installation is one of the ten largest in New York City. The power generated, 566.475 kilowatts annually, is enough to power 65 residential homes a year. With 55 trees planted on and off-site, Krinos is also helping to create more green space in the community.
Moscahlaidis said “the new facility is a significant milestone for Krinos as we continue to lead within the Mediterranean specialty foods market. The new building and systems will improve and streamline our production and distribution. I am proud of what we’ve built and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our company.”
Krinos will employ 100 employees in the Bronx when they are at full capacity. A cutting-edge warehouse management system will increase the efficiency of shipping and minimize out of stocks. The manufacturing operation housing production lines for packing jars, tubs, and bags features new equipment and machinery, including a German-designed plastic cup sealing machine, the first of its kind in the United States.
Visually striking murals on the exterior walls of the building by the world-renowned Victor Matthews on the East wall, Moscow-based artist Misha Most on the North wall, and Kenny Scharf on the West wall decorate the facility and also beautify the neighborhood with vibrant color and dynamic imagery. Moscahlaidis highlighted the fact that the company did not want to simply “build a box,” but also connect with the community.
Being a part of the community is important to Krinos, and honoring the history, however sad, led the company to place a plaque on the Northwest corner of the building, to commemorate the six firefighters who perished on April 4, 1956 due to a wall collapse of the previous structure. The ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the tragedy was held on April 4 and included the dedication of the plaque in honor of the fallen firefighters. The lot was vacant for nearly thirty years until the new facility was built.
Famed British-Indian author Salman Rushdie, an avid art collector and fan of Matthews, visited the facility on June 12 to see the artist’s latest work. Most flew in from Moscow to paint the mural on the north wall of the Krinos facility, his first piece ever in New York.