Autumn Harp to leave Bristol for Essex

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(Host) A Bristol-based cosmetic-manufacturer will consolidate its operations in Essex.

Autumn Harp has made cosmetics and personal care products in Bristol for 26-years.

Owner Dave Logan says the company outgrew its ten-acre site in a residential neighborhood. Autumn Harp was unable to expand there because it didn’t have enough septic capacity or space.

So Autumn Harp purchased a site in Essex a year ago and has been operating out of two locations. Logan says that no longer makes sense.

(Logan) “It’s a wonderful place, but our company is at a point in its history where we need more space and a bigger facility. And in Essex we have two pieces of land with a total of about 20 acres, and the capacity, the ability to add on to our existing building. So there’s just not the restrictions that there are in Bristol."

(Host) Autumn Harp has 160 employees in Bristol and 40 in Essex. All employees will be able to keep their jobs, if they travel to Essex. The company is trying to secure permits to expand the Essex factory, and the transition is expected to happen slowly over the next year.

Bristol Town Administrator Bill Bryant says a large business outgrowing the limited infrastructure of a small town is not unique. But he says the town is working to expand the availability of manufacturing space. Bryant says even the employees will still have jobs, the town will feel the loss:

(Bryant) "There will be all the residual impacts when you lose a population like that out of your community. That’s fewer people that will go to the grocery store on their way home at night, fewer people that will eat lunch downtown, or shop at some of the shops downtown. So, we’ll be concerned about that and we definitely want to see that property back up in productive use by somebody."

(Host) The town plans to work with the building’s owner and the local economic development agency to find a tenant.

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