August 28, 2018
Manufacturing insights

Table Talk wants a piece of the WooSox pie

Photo | Courtesy
President of Table Talk Pies Harry Kokkinis.

Table Talk Pies, with a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Washington Street in Worcester, is welcoming the Worcester Red Sox with open arms. In an interview with WBJ, President Harry Kokkinis spoke about his hopes to partner with his new neighbors and the opportunities the massive project can bring to the area around the facility.

Many businesses in the Canal District have baseball fever. Is Table Talk one of them?

Yes. It's going to be really good for the city and the Canal District. We signed postcards to send to the team when everything started. It's very exciting.

Are you looking into any potential partnerships with your new neighbors?

I am. I've already talked to the city and a little with the team about working on ideas of how to market pies and baseball. They had a lot of good ideas, and it was a great conversation. There's nothing formal at this point, but maybe something like what the Bravehearts did. I thought that was fantastic and a really fun thing.

Are you open to sponsoring opportunities at the ballpark?

We'd certainly be open to that. We're exciting to have new neighbors. Particularly I'd love to see some of the history of Table Talk involved. My father and grandfather put a lot into this building and this area. It would be great to see something that mentions them.

Will pies be sold at the park?

We'd love to.

You seem to have a connection to baseball with the past partnership with the Bravehearts. Are you a baseball guy?

I am. I've been a lifelong Red Sox fan. The Table Talk/Coney's Island thing was the Bravehearts' idea. They've done such a great job, and I hope whatever happens, that they're kind of taken care of as well.

The project is directly next to the manufacturing facility. Does that present any challenges?

It will create some challenges for us that we need to work on. It might be hard at the bakery with 5,000 people descending upon Kelley Square, but I'm sure those things can be worked out.

It looks like some land will have to be acquired to make the project work. Does that include any Table Talk land?

From the drawings I've seen so far, it's not on the land we own. The problem we have is that we rent space in a building on the other side of Ash Street where our sales and accounting departments are. Unfortunately, that building is where the right field bleachers will be. I guess we're going to have a challenge there to figure out where we're going to put those offices.

Will you have to expand a bit more to make up that lost space?

Those are the things we're kind of looking at. Right now, we're still a little bit in shock. We kind of figured it wouldn't happen and figured someone in Rhode Island would come in and keep them from losing the team. I guess that didn't happen.

What are the ways the project could actually help the company?

The key thing about this whole project is it's not just a ballpark. What's unique is that it's part of a broader development and neighborhood. That's what is different about it and what will ultimately make it work.

This interview was conducted and edited by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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