Company relocates operations to Mt. Pleasant Glass Center
By A.J. Panian
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
John G. Byrnes said his friendship with local company owner Rolf Poeting helped convince him to bring his business to Westmoreland County.
Byrnes, president of Early American Pittsburgh Inc., a family-owned candle manufacturer, previously based in Allison Park, Allegheny County, recently entered into a one-year lease agreement to relocate its operations to the Mt. Pleasant Glass Center in Mt. Pleasant Township, according to Joseph D. Sisley, marketing director for the county's industrial development corporation.
The deal — approved recently by the corporation's board of directors — hinged largely on Byrnes' bond with Poeting, proprietor of Glassautomatic Inc./Rolf Glass at the center.
“Rolf is a friend of mine. That's how I found out about the glass center,” said Byrnes, whose parents, Elmer and Dorothy Byrnes, founded the company in 1962.
“It's a 50-mile change in demographic, but it's a great opportunity,” he added.
The company manufactures many types of jar, votive, tea lights, and pillar candles, as well as other specialty candles for wholesalers throughout the country.
Expansion plans called for the company to relocate from its current operations to the complex, which formerly housed the Lenox Crystal factory along State Route 31 in the township.
The move will enable the company to increase its product line and warehousing operations, Byrnes said.
Recently awarded a national distributorship for Libbey Glass, east of the Mississippi, the company now carries a wide variety of Libbey products via the web. It is also an authorized Mt. Pleasant Glass Center distributor for IGI waxes, Cargill waxes (soy products), Atkins & Pearce wicks, Fil-Tec wicks, Glue Dots International and Anchor Hocking glass.
“We carry a complete line of candle making supplies including waxes, wicks, glass containers, candle molds, fragrances, dyes, packaging supplies and many more items for all candle making needs,” Byrnes said.
The company has a staff of 13 employees, including candle masters that have been recognized nationally for their expertise, craftsmanship and artistry, he said.
“Because of the expected growth in sales, we anticipate to double or triple our staff within three to five years,” Byrnes said.
With the initial one-year lease and the ability to renew in five-year increments, Byrnes said the company is hoping to move operations into the facility no later than this month.
“By incorporating our complete candle manufacturing portfolio and Libbey products at this facility, we will continue to raise the industry standards for providing quality service for our customers,” Byrnes said.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation and Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland on this arrangement.”
County commissioner Chuck Anderson serves as county corporation's board chairman, and is joined on the body by fellow commissioners Tyler Courtney and Ted Kopas.
He said the pending arrival of Early American Pittsburgh Inc. is a welcome one that will provide solid jobs to the area and contribute to the local economy.
“Westmoreland's local community eagerly anticipates these new job opportunities,” Anderson added.
Jason Rigone, executive director for the corporation, affirmed that the local glass center's continued success was the key factor in sealing the recent pact with Byrnes' company.
“It's an example of the county's strong public/private partnership between the WCIDC and the EGC utilizing the advantages of our agency's resources,” Rigone said.
Poeting said he is glad to now call his friend Byrnes a neighboring business owner.
“I think it will be great to have manufacturing jobs back in the building,” Poeting said. “We're already working on a project together.”
Businesses at the center also include the Lenox Outlet, Pittsburgh Electric Engines, Crystal Concepts, O'Rourke Cut Glass. Another tenant is the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum, a nonprofit organization.
For more information about Early American Pittsburgh Inc., visit eapinnovations.com.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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