Creamery Move Creates Elbow Room

December 12, 2003
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HOLLAND — Plans to move production into a factory on Holland’s southeast side represent a major step in Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Co.’s growth strategy.

Relocating to the former Micromatic Textron plant on M-40 will provide the ice cream company — now based in Burnips in north-central Allegan County — better access to local highways for distribution.

It also gives the firm the ability to craft a production plant that best suits its existing and future space needs.

President Lou Kincaid said moving into the Textron plant was a better option for Hudsonville Ice Cream than expanding the existing Burnips facility that’s 55 years old, has production constraints, and has limited potential for future additions, company.

Kincaid said the company will renovate 68,000 square feet of space at a cost of several million dollars.

The new location will create significant operating and production efficiencies and has plenty of room for future expansion, Kincaid said.

“We’ve done a good job making ice cream here but if you want to grow the business, we knew we would be limited,” he said. “When you weigh all those things, (the Holland location is) a better place to expand.”

Hudsonville Ice Cream is targeting occupancy in the new production space for Oct. 1, 2004. The company will sell the Burnips site.

The decision to relocate came six months after The Landmark Group, a Holland-based investment company, bought the creamery. The company was founded in 1895 as a co-op by several dairy farmers in northern Allegan County to make butter and milk. The company began producing ice cream in 1926.

Hudsonville Ice Cream’s parent company wants to expand the market penetration for the product beyond West Michigan.

Kincaid said the company will initially seek to build its market share locally and then target northern and eastern Michigan.

Early next year, the company will expand its line of premium ice cream, known as “Creamery Blend,” from three to 10 flavors and is developing a new logo and packaging, he said.

Hudsonville Ice Cream is sold primarily in West Michigan at grocery stores (Meijer, D&W and Spartan among them), convenience stores and ice cream shops, with a small penetration into markets in southeast Michigan.

The company presently has sales of less than $10 million and a work force of 20 people.    

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