Rich Products Unveils Innovation Center

June 25, 2014 Updated Jun 25, 2014 at 9:03 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

June 25, 2014 Updated Jun 25, 2014 at 9:03 AM EDT

Rich Products unveiled its $18.5 million renovation project to the media this week. Take a look inside and you'll find high-tech presentation areas, a multi-use test kitchen, meeting rooms, fire place, an open environment and more.

Say goodbye to the old Niagara Falls theme in the atrium, which President and CEO Bill Gisel says was outdated. "We have to be a company with world class capabilities," he said. "The space we had for customers was great, but it was 20 years old. We really needed to get up with the times."

The $18.5 million renovation project converted the 25-year-old Rich Renaissance Niagara Atrium. Including this project, Rich's says it has re-invested more than $88 million in its Buffalo headquarters since 2007.

Gisel says that investment could have been made elsewhere, but Rich's wouldn't have it that way. "Rich's could have invested in this kind of product solution center in any number of markets in the U.S. or around the world," he said. "The family ultimately made the decision to invest $18 million here in WNY and specifically here on Niagara Street."

Gisel says that investment is a significant commitment by the Rich family to the local community. He says he considers Niagara Street a jewel and Rich's would like to see more companies invest along Niagara Street in Buffalo.

The new Innovation Center will link associates here in Western New York with customers around the world. Rich Products will host customers at the new space, but also interact with them through new technology after they are gone. Rich's can also connect with its eight other R&D centers around the world.

Besides business functions for Rich Products, the new Rich's atrium will continue to serve as a venue for public and private events and catering.

So far, Gisel says groups are overwhelmed by the space.

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