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Zephyrhills can soon add cookies and cakes to its claims to fame

Pasco County approves a $4.4 million subsidy to encourage construction of a Bauducco factory near Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.
 
The West Pasco Government Center
The West Pasco Government Center [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Oct. 25, 2023|Updated Oct. 25, 2023

Move over bottled water and Sky Dive City because the city of Zephyrhills has a new product to pitch, panettone.

The moist holiday cake made with candied fruit and raisins is among the products produced by Bauducco, a company that snagged a $4.4 million economic incentive package from Pasco County on Tuesday. The company, which is based in Brazil, plans to build a new factory on a 72.5-acre site at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Chancey Road near the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.

The company’s chief executive officer, Stefano Mozzi, told county commissioners he was looking forward to the new location. The factory will go on property annexed into the city. Zephyrhills will provide water and sewer. The project will eventually include two phases of construction totaling 403,000 square feet. The first, smaller phase is set for completion by 2026 followed and the larger second phase by 2029.

Pasco County commissioners, officials with the Pasco Economic Development Council, the city of Zephyrhills and officials from Bauducco Foods pose after the county approved an economic incentive package for the food manufacturer.
Pasco County commissioners, officials with the Pasco Economic Development Council, the city of Zephyrhills and officials from Bauducco Foods pose after the county approved an economic incentive package for the food manufacturer. [ Pasco County Economic Development Council ]

The company expects to create approximately 600 new jobs.

The county property tax incentives are stretched over a 10-year period and require the company to already have its certificates of occupancy before the incentives are granted. There is also a reimbursement incentive for employee training capped at $100,000.

Zephyrhills approved incentives this week based on job creation. Part of the subsidy comes through waiving or reimbursing transportation impact fees and permitting fees.

Officials said that Pasco beat out a strong push from San Antonio, Texas to attract the company. Mozzi said the family-run business had always wanted a strong footprint in Florida but had outgrown its facilities in Miami. He said that an architect was already hired and he hoped that he would have continued help getting permits secured so work can begin.

Bauducco chose Pasco County after a long and very detailed analysis of prospective locations in seven states and more than 10 counties around the country, Mozzi said in a news release. “Due to the business-friendly environment and the support and professionalism we received from the business development teams in the State, County and the City; as well as the great location, we decided to make Zephyrhills our new and main production hub for the U.S.A. market.”

Bauducco is a Brazilian multinational company established in 1950 by an Italian immigrant and is now one of the fastest growing cookie companies in the United States, according to the release by the Pasco Economic Development Council.

The company manufactures baked food products such as biscuits, wafers and breads, and is the largest producer of panettones in the world and market leader in the United States. The Bauducco brand is sold in all 50 states in regional supermarket chains, national grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers. The company holds the rank of the No. 2 sugar wafer brand in the U.S. and is the market leader in many states, including New York, California, and Florida.

Bauducco has five manufacturing plants in Brazil, with the capacity to produce more than 400,000 tons of baked goods annually, with over 8,000 employees worldwide. There is one manufacturing plant and warehouse in Miami.

Story updated to correct spelling error.