In the aftermath of a devastating fire, metalcrafter Wendell August opened its new 52,000-square-foot facility in Grove City, Pennsylvania, which includes its corporate offices, factory space and a new state-of-the-art flagship retail store. Located north of Pittsburg in Mercer County, the firm estimates its workforce will surpass 100 employees in a year and as many as 200 employees in five years.
Gov. Tom Corbett noted this is a new start for the 90-year old firm that suffered a devastating fire three and a half years ago that destroyed its headquarters.
“Wendell August’s story is truly an inspiration to all of us and a testament to the strength and resolve of the Pennsylvania spirit,” said Corbett. “It is an honor to be here today to help America’s oldest and largest forge celebrate the start of a new chapter of growth and success here in Grove City.”
Following the March 2010 fire, the company continued to operate at a temporary location, but increased demand required the company to locate a new, permanent facility, Corbett said. To assist with the construction of its new facility, in 2012 the firm received a $4 million Economic Growth Initiative grant.
On its Website the firm said “much changed on March 6, 2010 with a historic fire which ravaged the Wendell August Flagship Store, and much stayed the same as well. Gone is the building we have called home since 1932 in Grove City, but alive and well is the indomitable spirit and pride of creating and marketing our unique handmade in America giftware and home accessories. Since 1923, Wendell August has pioneered the artistry of creating unique hand-hammered metal giftware. Today, Grove City is still home to the nation's oldest and largest forge still in operation. We've just changed our physical address.” The firm’s new address is at 2074 Leesburg-Grove City Road in Grove City.
“You didn’t just recover. You emerged stronger than ever and with a bright future, and I am proud that my administration partnered with you to make it happen,” Corbett said. “Today is about more than opening a new building, it’s about celebrating a community that came together to help Wendell August recover from a tragedy. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together to thank a family and a company for having the faith and resolve to rebuild.”