HERMITAGE, PA. — Joy Baking Group, a 106-year-old ice cream cone maker, has started construction on a 200,000-square-foot expansion of its plant in Hermitage. Once the project is completed later this year the plant will comprise 310,000 square feet of space dedicated to the production of cookies, wafers and ice cream cones.

David George, president and chief executive officer of the Joy Baking Group, said the latest expansion in Hermitage primarily is dedicated to a new cookie production line. The cookies are baked and then crushed to be sent to customers as inclusions, crunches or for use in graham crusts for pies, he said.

“We need the extra capacity,” George said. “Our lines are sold out essentially. We aren’t doing anything new with this line in terms of markets, it’s just more capacity for the markets we’re in, and more for the growth we’re seeing.”

The expansion is expected to add between 60 and 75 jobs at Joy Baking, depending on how many days per week the production lines run, George said.

Joy Baking is the largest ice cream cone company in the world, baking more than 2.5 billion cones a year at its six facilities located in Hermitage (2); Flagstaff, Ariz.; Le Mars, Iowa (2); and Mexico City, according to the company. The company also manufactures ice cream sandwich wafers and baked inclusions.  The company’s products are sold in retail grocery, restaurant chains, ice cream shops, and to branded ice cream novelty producers throughout the United States and Canada.