A mentor suggested I contact the Suffolk IDA when the company was looking for more space. They called me back the next day, and their incentives helped the company save more than $75,000. That's big.
President, Vitamix Laboratories
Michael Koschitz knows a thing or two about staying healthy. He's learned that everyone's body is constantly fighting outside factors - from the weather to the food we eat - to remain at peak efficiency and health. But for a business, sometimes you need a BOOST to keep your company operating at optimal efficiency.
Koschitz is the president and founder of Vitamix Laboratories, a manufacturer and private label packager of nutritional supplements. After working as a broker for another pharmaceutical company, Koschitz learned the industry's ins, outs and all the places in between. He developed a concept for a company of his own: it should manufacture for the future, staying in front of industry changes and consumer demands.
Vitamix Laboratories opened in 2007 with approximately 3,200 square feet in Farmingdale, Long Island. Nearly 30 brands in nine countries use the company for manufacturing and private label supplement packaging.
Just under three years ago, the company more than doubled its facilities and expanded into 7,200 square feet. But continued rapid growth required more space, and fast. Locations across the country offer tax breaks and financial incentives for businesses to relocate; Vitamix Labs had to consider every option. But Koschitz is a self-described New Yorker, and he hoped to grow the company that he started on Long Island, on Long Island.
A mentor told him about the Suffolk County IDA's BOOST program that targets small businesses in high-growth industries, including green technology and pharmaceuticals. So Koschitz visited the Suffolk IDA's website and applied online. What he didn't expect was to get a callback the very next day. With assistance from the Suffolk IDA, Vitamix Laboratories moved a few miles east to Commack into 23,175 square feet, nearly triple its previous size. The new Commack facility has additional amenities that increase the company's capabilities: there are two in-house laboratories and three climate-controlled warehouses, as well as advanced processing capabilities and completely automated filling and packaging lines for the company's nutritional and supplemental liquid, powder and solid-dose vitamin products.
The Suffolk IDA's help included over $67,000 in property tax reductions over Vitamix Lab's five-year lease, along with almost $8,000 in sales-tax exemptions to purchase materials and equipment. In exchange for the $75,000 in savings, Vitamix Labs plans to add 20 jobs over two years to nearly triple the payroll from its current staff of 11. Since the move, five new employees have been hired, with interviews underway for another three. With a substantially larger facility and significantly increased staff, Vitamix Labs hopes to produce its own Beverage Booster line - including energy drinks and meal replacements -in addition to the products it manufactures, labels and packages for other companies from across the globe.
Koschitz will also tell you that the Suffolk IDA's value goes beyond the financial help. "They have helped us network across Long Island, introducing us to companies that have become valued vendors as well as to potential new clients."
All the growth over the past several years bodes well for Vitamix Labs, and the company plans to keep expanding. Nearly at capacity already and with an additional 20,000 square feet available adjacent to its new facility, Koschitz has plans to expand Vitamix Laboratories further and be in 40,000 + square feet within the next five years.