CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) – Local residents who buy Blue Seal Kielbasa from Chicopee Provision for the holiday season will have to find a substitute this year.
The company suffered a water main break in its facility on September 26 causing them to lose a large number of products, supplies, and machinery as a result. Chicopee Provision also lost the ability to produce any of their products and will not be open for Thanksgiving.
Kielbasa, a type of meat sausage from Poland, is popular in western Massachusetts because many families in the area are of Polish heritage.
Chicopee Provision, Inc., President Gary Bernatowicz doesn’t think the facility will reopen in time for Christmas. This means residents will be unable to purchase holiday favorites such as the Blue Seal Kielbasa. Bernatowickz expects the work to be done in January 2020.
On October 11, the company posted a notice on their website stating “for the next couple of weeks, we will be fixing all the damage that was caused and hope to have everything back up and running as soon as possible.”
Due to the progress of repairs at the facility, the company will be closed until further notice.
“In the end, it’s up to us to provide a sanitary safe facility to reduce the risk of, if not eliminate, foodborne illness. We have our own Hazard Analysis Critical Point plan and we need to enforce it. After having a flood and being shut down for a number of weeks without refrigeration we have to look at any and all areas where issues could arise. As long as we’re not operating, it’s a good time to fix any nagging issues that were being put of for “someday”.– President Gary Bernatowicz , Chicopee Provision, Inc
The following is a full statement from Chicopee Provision, Inc., President Gary Bernatowicz:
“As you may have seen on recent reports in the media, the progress of repairs at our facility has intensified which in turn has delayed our ability to resume production. Due to this unfortunate set of circumstances, we will be unable to provide the Blue Seal products that have become holiday favorites for generations. Since the events of September 26, numerous repairs and modifications have been made to remedy the damage caused by the burst water pipe. Being that our facility has functioned for decades it was decided that we would use this time to make other modifications to ensure that the items we produce will continue to be of the highest quality that our customers are accustomed to. At this time we expect this work to be completed at the beginning of January 2020. We appreciate your patience during this difficult time and we look forward to supplying you and your customers with the Blue Seal family of products that we all love. From all of us at Chicopee Provision, we wish each and everyone one of you the happiest and healthiest holiday season.”-Chicopee Provision, Inc., President Gary Bernatowicz
Chicopee Provision Inc., located at 19 Sitarz Ave, has been operating since 1920 when Stanley Sitarz, his brother Jacob, and a colleague named Bartlomiej Partyka joined together to make polish style Kielbasa at their first location at 40 West Street in Chicopee.
After six years of growth the company needed more space so on December 31, 1931, the company became Chicopee Privision Company Inc., manufacturers of Blue Seal and Table Ready Meats and Specialties and moved into their current location.