Ice cream manufacturer to cut 300 jobs at Dunkirk plant | Business Local

More than 300 workers at a Dunkirk ice cream manufacturing plant will lose their jobs at the end of the year.

Wells Enterprises will lay off 319 employees at the company’s Dunkirk plant, at 1 Ice Cream Drive, according to a notification the company sent to New York State. The company will scale back operations at the Dunkirk plant to five production lines beginning in 2023, according to a statement from Wells Enterprises.

Operations will continue as normal in Dunkirk the rest of the year and layoffs will begin at the end of December or early January. 

The company cited “economic” reasons for the layoffs.

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Wells Enterprises is “always evaluating and evolving our business strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization and to meet consumer demand for our products,” the company said in a statement. 

“As market trends shift in our industry, we adapt and optimize our operations to ensure continued success of our business,” according to the statement. “We recently completed a comprehensive review of our manufacturing footprint and our needs to support our overall business strategy.”

A company spokesperson said employees were told in July of Wells Enterprises’ plans to scale back operations in Dunkirk. The company will provide transitional benefits to affected employees and assist them with finding new jobs. 

Employees at the Dunkirk plant are represented by the Teamsters Local 264 union. A call to the union was not immediately returned Wednesday. 

Wells Enterprises said Dunkirk “remains strategically important for our organization.” 

Last year, Wells Enterprises received a $750,000 grant from National Grid to support an $87 million expansion project at the Dunkirk plant. The project called for adding more manufacturing lines and hiring 70 new employees. The plant had about 750 employees as of January 2021, according to reporting from The Buffalo News. 

Wells Enterprises’ ice cream manufacturing plant in Dunkirk is receiving a $750,000 economic development grant from National Grid.

In 2019, Wells Enterprises acquired Dunkirk-based ice cream maker Fieldbrook Foods, formerly known as Dunkirk Ice Cream. 

Wells Enterprises is based in Iowa and has been in business for more than 100 years. The company makes popular ice cream brands such as Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Halo Top and Bomb Pops. 

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