Several farmers in Chautauqua county said they're making Fredonia "grape" again.
"AgriAmerica" officially opened in early October. It's a grape processing facility in Fredonia.
Owners said they couldn't have done it without financing through the county. “This is like taking a car out of the garage for the first time in 10 years and trying to make it work again,” said Co-Owner, Eric Huddy.
The facility closed back in 2011 leaving dozens of farmers with nowhere to bring their harvest. “Desperation leads to inspiration. We, as farmers, were put in a desperate situation. We lost our market,” said Huddy.
That's why Huddy and his business partner decided to take it over. “This was a large undertaking for us. Almost like a NASA space launch getting everyone together.”
The facility processes grapes for kosher juice and wine.
Right now, there's about 30 seasonal employees managing the peak of harvest season. Huddy said he'll keep four full time employees here year-round. That's not including the effect it's having on local farmers. “The largest benefactor is the farmer. In all, there's about 110 jobs created which in Fredonia, a rural community, that's a lot of jobs.”