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JCIDA loan committee OKs $40,000 loan for Mr. Rick’s Bakery expansion

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WATERTOWN — The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency’s loan review committee approved a $40,000 loan request Tuesday by Paul G. Alberry, co-owner of Mr. Rick’s Bakery, who plans to move his Mill Street bakery to an expanded location off Route 11 in the next six months.

The agency’s board of directors will consider the loan for final approval by May 1.

Mr. Alberry intends to use the loan to move the bakery from its 1,500-square-foot rented space at 525 Mill St. to the former Butler Fence Co. building at 17099 Route 11 in the town of Watertown. Mr. Alberry, who in October leased the building with an option to buy, said he plans to close soon on the purchase of the 3,700-square-foot steel-framed structure owned by American Asphalt Inc., Massena.

He also is seeking a loan of $250,000-$275,000 from a local bank to close on the sale of the building.

“I’m turning an old building that was a storage facility into a deli and cafe, and we’re going to expand our menu,” said Mr. Alberry, who co-owns the business with his wife, Frances M., and son, Paul G.

The renovation project will include the installation of new ceilings, electrical wiring, windows, doors, tiling and interior painting, Mr. Alberry said. Its 2,000-square-foot kitchen — roughly five times the size of the kitchen the business now uses — will allow the business to expand its offering of bakery products to include cookies, bread, pies and cakes, along with a lunch menu. Diners can choose from a diverse selection of hot entrees, cold-cut sandwiches, salads and soups.

While the Mill Street bakery is open from 6 a.m. to noon, hours will be extended into the early afternoon for lunch at the Route 11 location, which will seat about 15 diners, Mr. Alberry said. Delivery service for lunch will be offered in the Watertown area. And the new location will be closer to businesses off outer Washington Street, including car dealerships, medical offices and Samaritan Summit Village.

“It’s an untapped area, and businesses there don’t have a lot of choices of where to go,” Mr. Alberry said. “They’re away from Arsenal Street and downtown, so everyone I’ve spoken to is excited we’re coming out there. It gives them another food choice.”

The bakery, which now has a staff of 12 employees, will hire four additional staffers after moving to its new headquarters, Mr. Alberry said.

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