Congressman Westerman visits Hope Baking Company for meeting, tour Tuesday

Attendees of a short meeting at Hope Baking Company with Fourth District Congressman were, left to right, Steve Atchley, Justice of the Peace for Hempstead County and member of Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation; State Representative Danny Watson; Congressman Bruce Westerman; Debbie Marsh General Accounting Manager for Hope Baking Company; Ida Serra, mother of the owner; Dan Serra, owner of Hope Baking Company; Anna Powell, Executive Director Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation; J.R. Wilson, Hope City Manager; and Mark Ross, City Director.

Congressman Bruce Westerman, Republican of Arkansas, representing the Fourth District of the state since 2015, visited Hope Baking Company Tuesday afternoon, meeting with its owner Dan Serra. In addition, members of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation, the county’s Quorum Court and Hope City Board attended. Hope City Manager J.R. Wilson and State Representative Danny Watson were also present.

In the conference room of the plant on East Third on the outskirts of Hope, Westerman was briefed by Serra about the recent transition of Hope Baking Company to the ownership of Serra’s company, East Baking Company, headquartered in Holyoke, Massachusetts which has been taking place since the spring. 

Among the subjects discussed were efforts toward expansion of the plant in Hope and recruitment of additional workers. Serra said the plant was using 240-260 workers when East Baking took over and now has added about 100 more. This has helped the plant add an additional production line.

Serra said he hoped to recruit workers from Nashville’s Husqvarna plant, which employs about 100 people from Hempstead County.

After the meeting, most of the group, including Congressman Westerman, took a tour of the plant.