Worcester, MA Table Talk Pies, Inc. plans to build a new energy efficient 120,000 s/f bakery to produce dessert pies within the former Crompton & Knowles Complex in the city’s Main South neighborhood. Partnering with Chacharone Properties, the 95-year old local company will move its Kelley Sq. bakery on Washington St. to an underdeveloped plot of land in a revitalized area of the city.
“My father and his partner–two Greek immigrants–moved to Worcester and started Table Talk here because it was a city where they could build a life for their families and a business,” said Mary Cocaine, Table Talk Pies, majority shareholder. “I am proud that over 95 years later, Worcester is still a city that the company calls home and the Table Talk family can continue to grow.”
The plan is to build a more streamlined and efficient facility to produce dessert pies that will replace the Kelley Sq. operations. Table Talk will lease the building from Chacharone Properties. The new facility will include food grade production space, warehouse, and office space for Table Talk. As with two previous buildings developed for Table Talk Pies, Chacharone Properties plans to use high efficiency and environmentally-friendly construction materials that complement the designs of other updated buildings in the neighborhood. The goal is to have the entire project completed and ready to begin operations in June 2021.
“Worcester has been an important part of Table Talk’s success over the years,” said Harry Kokkinis, president of Table Talk Pies, “We are very excited to find a location, with the help of Chacharone Properties and the city of Worcester, where we can build a facility that supports our desire to maintain and grow our presence in Worcester.”
The Table Talk baking facility will require $10 million of private investment by Chacharone and $12 million in equipment and building improvements by Table Talk. The company is seeking support from the city and the city council for the project in the form of tax incentives.
Over the last three years, with the help of the city and community partners, Table Talk and Chacharone transformed the South Worcester Industrial Park, with the completion of the 25 Southgate St. bakery and Armory St. Cold Storage facility making a major economic impact through the redevelopment of vacant land and the creation of jobs for city residents. The partnership plans for the same success at the new location.
“Chacharone Properties is excited to once again team up with Table Talk Pies,” said James Chacharone, founder and principal of Chacharone Properties.
“Working with the City, we were able to assemble this 8 +/- acre site and we look forward to developing this facility for Table Talk Pies, which will continue to improve the South Worcester and Main South communities.”
Table Talk plans to employ180 full-time operations staff at the new location. The 130 current full-time production staff that will be relocated from the Kelley Sq. bakery will be complemented by 50 new full-time positions added over three years. Over 60% of Table Talk’s employees live in Worcester, many in the Main South and surrounding neighborhoods, making it an accessible location.
“The city has been working with Table Talk for years to facilitate their growth, starting with the sale of city-owned land to enable 80,000 s/f of new space in the South Worcester Industrial Park, and now this proposed 120,000 s/f facility just down the street. The jobs created at these facilities provide important economic opportunities and careers for our residents,” said city manager, Edward Augustus, Jr.
Table Talk will continue to bake pies in Kelley Sq. while the building of the new bakery is underway. Once the new bakery is complete and is fully functional, the company will phase down production. At that point, the company will look at its options for the future development of the property. There are no plans to move the company’s retail store, The Pie Store, from its current location at 153 Green St.