Spokane Journal of Business

Pizza equipment maker seeks site for expansion

Lloyd Industries looks to double work force, add new manufacturing shift

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Lloyd Industries Inc., of Spokane, is looking to relocate to a larger facility here and has begun hiring to establish a second shift. It also expects to double its current small workforce within the next 10 months.

The company, which designs, manufactures, and distributes precision-engineered pizza equipment and custom-made metal products, is outgrowing its 10,000-square-foot quarters and is looking to purchase a replacement building of at least twice that size, says John Crow, Lloyd Industries president.

Crow says his ultimate goal is to purchase a site that would allow for the construction of a 40,000-square-foot structure to house the companys manufacturing operations and headquarters, which currently are located at 2825 N. Hogan. In the interim, however, Crow says the company might move into a larger building and will hire as many as eight or nine new manufacturing employees for a second shift. He says Lloyd likely will double its current workforce of 16 by adding a like number of employees in manufacturing, marketing-sales, engineering, and administrative support by mid-2002.

Company sales have grown from slightly less than $1 million in 1997 to a projected $3 million this year, Crow says. The company derives the majority of its revenues from the sale of a line of aluminum pans and other pizza-making equipment to pizza restaurants, including franchises such as Godfathers Pizza, Roundtable Pizza, and Dominos Pizza. Crow says that Lloyd Industries also has begun custom designing and manufacturing products for high-tech and other non-pizza-related applications.

He says he has been working with the Spokane Area Economic Development Council in hopes of utilizing Spokanes recent state designation as a community empowerment zone to assist in the expansion of his business. Under a contract with the city, the EDC is the contact for information about the zone and will assist companies in applying for the tax incentives that come with that designation.

Crow views the opportunity to take advantage of sales- and use-tax deferrals and tax credits for hiring residents of the empowerment zone as strong incentives to keep Lloyd Industries within the zone. He adds, however, that it might not be possible to find a site there.

The area included in the zone lies roughly between the eastern and the western city limits and stretches from Francis Avenue on the north into the vicinity of the near South Hill.

Wed need about a 2 1/2-acre parcel to build on, and its hard to find a site of that size zoned for manufacturing within the boundary of the empowerment zone, he says.

Crow, who runs Lloyd Industries with his son, Rob, moved the business from San Diego to Spokane in 1994. At that time, his company had only two pizza-industry customers and one machine.

Lloyd manufactures primarily aluminum and stainless steel products, many of which are produced with a computer-aided, spinning-lathe process, says Crow. It now also uses computer-assisted design in product development and most of its production is digitally controlled.

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