Construction crews are working two shifts a day to open a temporary facility for the Rustic Crust company in Pittsfield. Earlier this month a fire burned down its production facility.
The company makes frozen flatbread pizzas and ready-made pizza crusts. Now Rustic Crust founder and CEO Brad Sterl says he’s hoping to restart operations in the next few weeks. And get his 100 workers back on the job by early next month.
He says the rush is to avoid shortages nationwide.
“In the grocery business, when you lose space, it’s really difficult to earn that space back," Sterl says. "We estimate that the marketplace, in general, had anywhere from three to five weeks of inventory, and that’s why this three week window is so critical for us.”
He says the temporary facility is in the same building as Rustic Crust's offices and warehouse--but will be two-thirds the size of the old one. And since some of the fancier automated equipment won’t fit, he says once production starts, he’ll likely have to hire more workers to do the new manual jobs.
Since the production facility shut down, Sterl has been paying the full salaries of his workers.