The New Brunswick and federal governments have announced a contribution of $867,000 to help the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. with an 836-square metre (9,000-square foot) expansion. This will allow the company to improve efficiency, optimize operating space and increase production.
“Investing in this expansion will help deliver on our number one priority of job creation,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet in a news release. “Covered Bridge has shown it is an innovative and driven company that is positioned for growth, and we are pleased to be able to support this project.”
Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. makes old-fashioned kettle chips with dark russet potatoes harvested from the family company’s 200-hectare (500-acre) potato field at Albright Farms.
The provincial government contributed $367,000 through a forgivable loan from Opportunities NB. The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program, provided a repayable contribution of $500,000 for the project.
“Since 2009, Ryan Albright has grown his small business, which began with only three employees, into a successful venture that now employs nearly 100 people in the rural region of Carleton County,” said Tobique-Mactaquac MP T.J. Harvey. “I am pleased that ACOA’s support for this project has enabled Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. to continue to grow and diversify its product offerings so it can meet growing demand now and in the years to come.”
According to company president Ryan Albright, the expansion is” another step for us in our efforts to build a more efficient platform for the future growth of the company. The space will enable us to add more cooking capacity and a new product line in the near future. We had a record tourism season this past summer and can attribute a lot of this to our expanded tourism viewing area, gift shop and facilities, and look forward to growing that next summer.”
The facility is also an agri-tourism destination that offers self-guided factory tours. A recently-expanded section of the building includes an improved viewing space for visitors and additional washrooms to better accommodate tour bus traffic.