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Brooks BBQ Bottling

Booms; Space Needed

Bob Harlem alerts the Otsego Now board of directors this morning that Albany County and Cobleskill are seeking to lure an expansion of the Brooks BBQ bottling plant. With Harlem were fellow county Development Corp. board member Jamie Reynolds, left, and Jim Jordan of Richfield Springs, the architect. (Jim Kevlin/

Albany County, Cobleskill Poaching Jobs;

Otsego Now To Offer Shovel-Ready Site

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – Brooks BBQ’s bottling business has taken off, and it needs an extra 150,000 square feet of space in the next two years to accommodate the growth, Otsego Now’s board of director was advised this morning.

And Otsego Now has just the place:  The shovel-ready site at the former Pony Farm.    “You could be in the ground in 30 days,” CEO Sandy Mathes told the directors.  He, COO Elizabeth Horvath and a board member, Craig Gelbsman, were asked to sit down with Ryan Brooks as soon as possible to see if an arrangement is possible.

Time is of the essence, Bob Harlem and Jamie Reynolds of the Otsego County Development Corp. reported at the Otsego Now monthly meeting at 189 Main St., and former Otsego Now board member Jim Jordan, the Richfield Springs. Brooks has already by approached by Albany County about hosting the new facility, and Cobleskill has already offered two sites for his use:  the long-vacant Inter Knitting Company Mill and or the former Maranatha gym.

“That would be a terrible loss to this area,” said Harlem, who said initial talks have been held between Brooks and Mike Manno, who operates Apple Converting at Pony Farm and has a second building, now empty.

The former Siemens building there is also a possibility, but a new tenant has already been lined up.

“The growth will be on the bottling side,” said Reynolds, adding that clients from as far away as California are contracting for bottling with the company, which spent $1 million on its initial expansion three years ago at the site on Oneonta’s East End, but it running out of space there.




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