EXETER – Gourmet Gift Baskets on Tuesday unveiled the skeleton of the 106,000 square foot facility where it makes its home in Exeter, and Governor Maggie Hassan was on hand to wish owners Ryan and Jeff Abood good luck.
Hassan praised New Hampshire’s high quality of life, high-quality workforce, and legislative flexibility – things that she said enable business ventures such as the Aboods. ‘
âThat’s who we are in Granite State – we work together and get the job done,â she said.
Ryan Abood shared with attendees the story of the multi-million dollar e-commerce company, which has grown from a 2,000 square foot building to its sprawling new home on Continental Drive.
Becoming moved, Abood said, “Today is about the amazing people who have worked so hard to bring us to this place.”
State Department Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeff Rose told the Aboods “it takes courage, it takes special people” to take business risks like they have.
âYou really are the backbone of the New Hampshire economy,â he said. âWe are small but we are agile and we are responsive. “
City Manager Russ Dean presented the project as an illustration of Exeter’s more aggressive push to broaden its tax base and be economically competitive.
âI couldn’t be happier to say that (business developer Darren Winham) is here, working hard and tirelessly to make sure things happen on Epping Road,â he said. âIt is a symbol of our governing body’s commitment to broaden our business base. “
Located in the tax increase financial district of Epping Road on property owned by Tom Monahan, the site has 99-space parking and a loading dock on the north side of the building, with hookups to city ââwater and sewer.
The town planning council is squarely behind the project, which members have said they see as an ideal development for Epping Road.
According to his website, Ryan Abood founded the multi-million dollar online retailer after working in the family-owned New Hampshire flower shop. The company offers gift packages for all major parties and occasions that can include everything from gourmet food and snacks to flowers and cigars.
Director of Economic Development Darren Winham, whom Dean has recognized as critical to the company’s success, said on Tuesday the project was long overdue and would be good for Exeter.
âThe Gourmet Gift Baskets project is an important first step in the redevelopment of Epping Road and a colossal victory for Exeter,â said Winham. “From abolishing ghost roads to abandoning the false shroud of being hard to work with, Exeter is truly growing as an economic player on the coast.”