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Gift basket firm to open plant Former Harrison Radiator home to Gourmet World

A Canadian gift basket company will hold a ribbon-cutting Nov. 10 for its new plant here, the Niagara USA Chamber announced in a news release Thursday.

Gourmet World, which has leased space in Building 1 of Harrison Place, the former Harrison Radiator plant at Walnut and Washburn streets, will assemble and distribute the baskets from that location.

Community Development Director William J. Evert said the company actually leased 3,000 to 4,000 square feet space in the plant as of Sept. 1, and is already operating.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said the Canadian angle is one the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, of which he is the vice chairman, often plays. The IDA has had several projects where Ontario firms open U.S. locations in Niagara County.

Tucker said when he met with Gourmet World officials, they told him they expected to create about 10 jobs, but the Chamber news release asserted that as many as 35 people could be employed "when in full production."

Company president Bhaskar Bhowmick could not be reached to comment.

He was quoted in the release as saying, "The baskets will be handmade right here in Lockport, providing local jobs and local commerce. . . . We are excited to be in Lockport. We could have selected other parts of the country, but we found the right conditions here."

Gourmet World operates a Web site called GiftsWish.com, where customers can order Italian and Belgian truffles, nuts, cakes and other delicacies. They are sold in gift baskets priced from $35 to $149.

The site lists 210 Walnut St., the address of Harrison Place, as the company's headquarters.

The former auto parts plant is owned by 210 Walnut LLC, a taxable entity controlled by the city, which foreclosed on the former owners in 2006. The city has hired Mancuso Development Group of Batavia to line up tenants for the sprawling plant.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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