RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Little Austria, LLC will create five new jobs and invest over $371,000 to build a new commercial bakery in Sterling. The company, founded by Austrian-born Helene Gallent, has been operating out of the shared-use commercial kitchen ChefScape in Ashburn and selling at area farmers markets. Now, with the assistance of grants from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund and the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority, the company will open a new, standalone commercial bakery in Sterling enabling them to enter new retail and wholesale markets. Little Austria, which participates in the “Loudoun made, Loudoun grown” program, is committing to source apples from Virginia.
“It’s exciting when state and local efforts supporting entrepreneurs can help our small businesses grow and reach new markets—bringing additional jobs, investment, and opportunity to their communities,” said Governor Northam. “I congratulate Little Austria on their success and am confident they will continue to thrive from their new home in Loudoun County.”
“Little Austria’s growth and investment in Loudoun County is great news for Virginia’s agriculture sector and for our economy overall,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Through their commitment to using Virginia-grown apples in producing their gourmet Austrian-style apple strudels, Little Austria is ensuring that their success will also be supporting Virginia’s agricultural community.”
“Little Austria was started in 2017 with the idea to bring traditional Austrian strudels made with high quality local ingredients to market. With this generous AFID grant provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia, we will be able to expand that vision while supporting our local, hard-working produce growers,” said Little Austria founder Helene Gallent. “We greatly appreciate the continued support from Loudoun County Economic Development. Vanessa Wagner and her team have been a tremendous help over the last months. You can feel that they really believe in the mission and vision of our venture.”
“I’m so excited about this local success story that uses our locally grown produce in new and delicious ways,” said Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton. “I’m so proud of everything Little Austria has accomplished, and honored that they chose to grow their business right here in Loudoun County.”
“I’m excited that Little Austria has chosen Virginia and specifically Sterling as the best place for their business. Little Austria’s use of Loudoun-grown products which will then be crafted into high quality products by Loudoun bakers showcases the best of Virginia and further solidifies the Commonwealth’s position as a great place for business,” said Delegate John Bell. “I warmly welcome Little Austria to the 87th District and Virginia and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
“Little Austria is the latest example of an organization leveraging Loudoun’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and capitalizing on partnerships with local agriculture businesses to create an amazing farm-to-fork product,” said Loudoun County Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “This expansion will allow Little Austria to enter new markets, including grocers and restaurants, and help the company grow their #LoudounPossible story.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Loudoun County, Loudoun County Economic Development Authority and Little Austria, LLC on this project through the AFID Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Governor Northam approved a $13,700 grant from the AFID Fund, which the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will match with local funds pending a vote by the Board at a future meeting.
Little Austria’s strudels can be found at a number of farmers markets in Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.
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