Updated 4:43 p.m.
BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
A slice of Queens is heading to New Jersey.
“We can’t afford the real estate around here,” Alan Rosen, grandson of Harry Rosen, who founded the business in 1950, told Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the relocation.
Its new baking facility across the river also affords more space — 103,000 square feet compared to 20,000 square feet in Queens — and features more refrigeration, freezers and loading docks, according to Rosen.
Junior’s has been reportedly renting the Maspeth facility for the last 15 years to supply its four restaurants in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut, as well as its wholesale and mail-order businesses.
According to Rosen, by July its baking operations will be moved to its New Jersey facility. Up to 75 jobs could be affected by the move, the New York Times reported, but only about 15 employees are expected to come to the new place. Workers were told about the relocation in January following the decision to relocate, which Rosen said was made in late 2014.
The product quality won’t be affected, he said.
“Not one iota. I tested cheesecakes there on Monday with my grandfather looking down on me. [Our cheesecake] has not changed one bit in 64 years,” he told The Courier.
Some baking will continue in New York at its flagship location in Brooklyn, according to a Junior’s spokeswoman. Last year, there was talk of the cheesecake maker selling the 386 Flatbush Ave. building, but the owner decided to stay put.
Rumblings about Junior’s relocation of its Maspeth facility began in 2011 when the city was considering the Maspeth bypass plan — a truck route through an industrial part of the neighborhood. The plan converted the segment of Maurice Avenue where Junior’s factory is located from a two-way street to a one-way thoroughfare.
At a Community Board 5 meeting in June 2011, a lawyer for Junior’s stated that the Maspeth bypass plan was untenable due to delivery logistics, adding that the board was “forcing [Junior’s] to move to Jersey” if it had supported the Maspeth bypass. The board recommended the bypass plan’s approval in July, and the DOT implemented it in November of that year.
Rosen said the Maspeth bypass situation had no impact on Junior’s decision to move from the area.