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The Ziegenfelder Company Receives Leadership Award

May 16, 2024 | News

The Ziegenfelder Company celebrated a major recognition this week at the QCS Purchasing Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. The company received the QCS Member Leadership Award.

The recognition was based on the Zieggy Tribe’s overall sales growth, increased participation and increased engagement. Purchasing and Cost Analyst Greg Mertes attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf of The Ziegenfelder Company.

Tribe Strength Soars in Aftermath of Wheeling Fire

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Just over four weeks ago, members of the Zieggy Tribe evacuated The Ziegenfelder Company production facility in Wheeling. They watched flames engulf a part of the building housing Room 1, the first production room of The Ziegenfelder Company. With fire destroying two production lines, the company’s main office and several other spaces important to the pop-making process, it was unclear when or IF pops would be made again.

“Two concerns were our employees with being able to keep them employed and working,” says Kevin Heller, Chief Operations Officer of The Ziegenfelder Company, “And the second concern was our customers and our consumers. We are now able to supply our treats and they’re able to buy them.”  

The Zieggy Tribe celebrates a week later as Wheeling’s remaining five lines in Room 2 and 3 are up and running. Tribe members and company leaders personally know what it took to achieve that major milestone.

“Not only are we rising up from the fire circumstances in Wheeling and moving that plant forward, we are also maintaining a focus on all facilities,” says Jennifer Bilcze, Talent Acquisition Manager. “We may not be completely ‘business as usual’ given our recent circumstances, but as a Tribe we are pushing to get there.”

Company leaders credit training and team building, providing support across all three plant locations with extra staffing, and enhanced strategy development and deployment.

“To ensure peak performance from all of our plants, we have all shifts over staffed,” said Jessa Stobbs, who works in the company’s human resources department. “ For example, we have extra operators and reliefs scheduled to help with rework so we are getting the highest percent out of our case counts. Some have changed shifts to help out. By changing shifts, they are meeting, working, and growing new relationships with other tribe members. Plus, we have Wheeling Tribe members working on a rotating schedule between Denver and Wheeling. This helped keep Denver staffed well and allowed our Wheeling Tribe members to continue working during the Wheeling plant rebuild. By building a stronger bridge between our three plants, our tribe members feel united as one.”

Although the exact plan for Wheeling’s rebuild seems unclear at the moment, the Zieggy Tribe is committed to facing the future together.

“Everyone is pitching in and has been doing work that may fall outside of their job description to make forward progress happen,” said Bilcze. “It’s very inspiring!”

“We will need additional production for the future to replace what we lost and also for our future growth,” said Heller. “We will put production lines in. I don’t know when yet. I don’t know exactly where in that space. We’re in that planning phase right now.”

Community Partnership Supports Members of Zieggy Tribe

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An amazing community partnership formed in Wheeling after the fire at The Ziegenfelder Company to help members of our Zieggy Tribe. Those responsible for forming this program gathered at Catholic Charities West Virginia Neighborhood Center on 18th Street in Wheeling to release the details.

More than a half-dozen donors, community foundations and organizations came together to help members of our Zieggy Tribe by forming the Ziegenfelder Employee Emergency Assistance Services program. The project is designed to help Zieggy Tribe members who work out of the Wheeling plant when they encounter financial difficulties during emergency situations.

Zieggy Tribe member Felix Sharp received help from the program. He spoke at the gathering and thanked donors and program organizers. Sharp explained, “It’s not a hand out. It’s a hand up. You just have to ask for help. People are there to help.”

You’ll recall fire ripped through the Wheeling plant known for making Budget Saver Twin and Monster Pops on January 31, 2019.  The tragedy resulted in acknowledgement by community partners that potential job displacement could follow emergency situations.

Generous donations poured in after the Ziegenfelder fire through efforts by Temple Shalom, JB Chambers Foundation, Shank Foundation, Catholic Charities West Virginia, Our Lady of Peace, Youth Services Systems, and many more private and anonymous sources. Those supporting the partnership recognize the largest community impact happens when everyone works TOGETHER to serve and support our neighbors where needed most.

The Zieggy Tribe has a long history of providing employment opportunities to people looking to get back on their feet with a fresh start. This partnership aims to provide emergency basic needs support and ongoing holistic case management services to employees of The Ziegenfelder Company as individualized needs arise. The program will be overseen and administered by CCWA Case Managers.

The Ziegenfelder Company Breaks Ground on $46 Million Manufacturing Expansion Project

May 15, 2024 | News

Lockhart, Texas – The Ziegenfelder Company, America’s largest producer of Twin Pops, honored their manufacturing expansion with an official groundbreaking ceremony at the soon-to-be Lockhart, Texas location. Ziegenfelder Company executives joined by the Office of Governor Abbott, Lockhart City Officials and the RFW Construction Group celebrated the $46 million capital investment that will generate more than 100 jobs, increase production capacity and generate economic benefit for the region.

President of The Ziegenfelder Company, Kevin Heller, stated “Here at the Ziegenfelder Company, we strive to maintain our consumers’ expectations of a high-quality product at an affordable price. Expanding to Lockhart enables us to continue living that vision.” Ziegenfelder President, Kevin Heller continued, “The facility is an investment in our future growth & our consumer. This Lockhart location will allow us to more efficiently serve our southwestern customers and consumers”.

The Ziegenfelder Company announced in September 2022 that the Texas Enterprise Fund grant had been extended by the State of Texas based on the capital investment and jobs to be created at this new facility, solidifying the company’s production growth in the State of Texas.

“Texas’ world-renowned business climate continues to attract company relocations and expansion projects, and I am proud The Ziegenfelder Company is breaking ground on their new manufacturing facility in Lockhart,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “As an industry leader producing affordable, high-quality frozen treats, this new manufacturing facility will help spur the local economies in Central Texas and further boost the mighty Texas economy. With Texas’ business-friendly policies, our young, skilled, and growing workforce, and predictable regulations, we will ensure that partnerships with companies like these continue to flourish. I look forward to working with The Ziegenfelder Company as they expand their operation in our great state and become a key component for the economy of the Texas of tomorrow.”

“I am thrilled to welcome the Ziegenfelder Company to our community. It’s a refreshing addition to Lockhart’s growing economic landscape,” said Lockhart Mayor, Lew White. “In a time of rapid growth in our area, the Ziegenfelder Company’s presence will contribute to the economic vitality of our city, providing more employment opportunities for our residents as well as those looking to call Lockhart home.”

The Ziegenfelder Company is expected to begin hiring for its 100+ employee need in March of 2024, with expansion completion expected in December 2024.

Company President, Kevin Heller, stated in closing “We appreciate the new partnership we are forming with the state of Texas and the City of Lockhart, a relationship that is foundational in our future success”.

The Ziegenfelder Company is the largest producer of Twin Pops in the United States. Founded in 1861 as a candy and ice cream maker, the company evolved into making the “Rainbow Array™” of frozen ice novelties. The Armstrong Group Company has production facilities in Wheeling, WV, Chino, CA and Denver, CO, The Ziegenfelder Company remains committed to community programs, fundraising and creating smiles.