Empire State Development Announces $500,000 Expansion of Lagusta’s Luscious Artisanal Chocolate Manufacturing Facility in Ulster County

November 2, 2022

Empire State Development today announced the 6,000 square foot expansion of Lagusta’s Luscious handmade artisanal chocolate manufacturing facility in New Paltz, Ulster County.  Lagusta’s Luscious, a local New Paltz treasure, creates and sells ethically and locally sourced and manufactured small batch, vegan chocolates and sweets throughout the country.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Small businesses are what make a community special and nothing exemplifies this more than Lagusta’s Luscious.  Lagusta’s Luscious is a woman-owned and operated business that is passionate about their product and are committed to supporting their community with locally sourced products and fair wages. ESD is proud to support this company and help them continue to grow and thrive in the Mid-Hudson Region.”

CEO of Lagusta’s Luscious, Lagusta Yearwood said, “As we enter our 20th year of business making chocolates as Lagusta’s Luscious and our 13th as a brick and mortar shop, I’m so honored and excited to be expanding our production capacity by moving into this new space with amazing help from Empire State Development.”

Lagusta's Luscious will invest $501,450 to renovate and build out a 6,000 square foot space that will include 4,500 square feet for production and 1,500 square feet for back office space and shipping. The company will also purchase and install new machinery and equipment for the expanded facility.  This expansion will create greater production capacity and operational efficiency. ESD is supporting the project with a capital grant of $100,000 recommended by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) in exchange for the creation of 11 new and the retention of 12 existing jobs at the facility.

MHREDC Co-Chairs Dr. Marsha Gordon, President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester and Dr. Kristine Young, president of SUNY Orange said, “Lagusta’s Luscious is always a big hit with locals, students and visitors in the Town of New Paltz providing locally made products that are enjoyed throughout the region and beyond.  This expansion will allow Lagusta’s Luscious to produce and ship their handcrafted confectioneries efficiently, expanding their reach and creating investment and jobs – as well as smiles in the community.”

Acting Ulster County Executive Johanna Contreras said, “This exciting expansion of one of Ulster County’s most dynamic and successful craft food makers is a testament to Lagusta Yearwood and her team’s dedication to the values that shaped their business: fairness, sustainability and delicious vegan chocolate! Their achievements are a reminder that our amazing and talented people are what really drives our local economy, a fact that we’ve embedded in our Ulster 2040 economic development strategy. We are grateful to our partners at NYS Empire State Development and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council for supporting Lagusta’s expansion and for all they work they do to help small businesses like hers throughout the region.”

New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez,  “Lagusta’s is an important and beloved part of our community and I am thrilled that they have chosen to expand their facility here in New Paltz not just because it means there are more jobs but because it means more people will be able to try some of the best chocolate in the country.”

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313