Dietz & Watson breaks ground on new Philadelphia facility

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The company took another big step forward in their long journey back. (WPVI)

A year after its warehouse in South Jersey burned, Dietz & Watson has broken ground on a new plant, and it's bringing jobs into Philadelphia.

Today's ground breaking was a historic one in the city's Tacony section.

The 75-year-old Dietz & Watson Company is ready to build their major distribution center here, right next to their existing kitchen plant.

The new distribution center will bring 158 new jobs to the city and retain 691 jobs.

Philadelphia battled New Jersey to get the 4th generation family owned food manufacturer to come here after a devastating fire at their New Jersey plant a year ago.

The company started up here in Philadelphia 75 years ago.

President and CEO Louis Eni told those in attendance at today's groundbreaking, "The fire, as devastating as it was, it provided us with an unexpected opportunity. Where we're standing right now ... is where we're going to be building our new distribution center. And 10 years ago, we had our eye on this property."

The company remains family owned. Ruth Eni, the daughter of the company's
Founder, was there to bear witness to history.

Eni, better known as "Mama Dietz", tells us, "I don't think my father ever thought this would happen. And I didn't think it would happen either. We've become a national company, starting with just a little hole in the wall, practically, when we began."

The company CEO says New Jersey put together a more lucrative rebuilding plan on the table, but the ability to consolidate production and storage at the Tacony site brought them back home to Philadelphia.
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