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Barrie bakery expanding with a $500,000 loan from the federal government

A Barrie Bakery will soon be making more bread after receiving a loan from the federal government to expand.

On Wednesday, Helena Jaczek, the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for south Ontario, announced a $500,000 repayable contribution to Zappia Fine Foods.

According to the Canadian Government, this will allow the company to expand its Via Oliveto Bakery brand into Barrie.

"Via Oliveto Bakery will quadruple its production capacity at its new Barrie facility. This growth will have a direct economic impact in Barrie, including creating jobs, strengthening the local food sector and enabling the company to better serve its customers," said Jaczek.

The 18,000 square foot facility now has a leading-edge production line, tunnel oven and mixer.

The company hopes this expansion will secure new contracts with large retailers.

"We look forward to increasing our capacity, adding new product lines, reaching new customers," said Pasquale Zappia, Via Oliveto Bakery CEO.

During Tuesday's press conference, the government said the expansion project would help drive economic growth in the region.

Rachel Zappia, Via Oliveto Bakery manager, is from the M'Chigeeng First Nation and leads the company's new inclusive hiring plan of Indigenous Peoples, which the government said is a direct result of the funding.

Minister Jaczek noted on Wednesday that Via Oliveto Bakery would be teaming up with Barrie Native Friendship Centre during the hiring process.

The bakery will be located at 204 Mapleview Drive West.

The company currently has four employees and is looking to fill two full-time positions.

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