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Food maker invests $10.7M in expansion
A maker of baked goods and snacks is planning a $10.7-million expansion in the area that's expected to create at least 91 jobs.
Hearthside Food Solutions in Downers Grove, Ill., a contract food maker, plans to expand its facility in Kentwood, at 3225 32nd St. SE, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit, today.
Hearthside Food Solutions will invest in building renovations and equipment over the next three years.
The expansion will address the need for more capacity due to continued customer demand.
West Michigan “continues to be part of Hearthside’s long-term strategy” of providing services for “the world’s premier consumer brands,” said Matthew Sagendorf, VP of engineering, Hearthside Food Solutions.
Hearthside has four facilities in metro Grand Rapids and additional operations located throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
Megan Sall, business development manager at The Right Place, said the investment and expansion project was as much a business-retention project as it was an expansion initiative.
“West Michigan’s food processing industry is one of the strongest in the Midwest, and we are pleased that Hearthside will continue its growth story in the region,” Sall said.
During the process of deciding where the Illinois-based company should expand, The Right Place collaborated with Minneapolis-based Hickey & Associates, which serves as Hearthside’s site selection agency.
John Kerr, associate at Hickey & Associates, said the expansion project was “very competitive,” and there were “a variety of opportunities” for Hearthside.
Kerr said The Right Place provided an “excellent” level of prompt service and support throughout the process, “ensuring the Hearthside team had all the information they needed to make the best decision for their company.”
Hearthside was approved for a $450,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program to support its expansion in Kentwood.
Stephen Kepley, mayor of the city of Kentwood, said the city recognizes businesses have many options for expansion and appreciates Hearthside’s decision to keep jobs in the area.
“We are happy to be a partner in its success,” Kepley said.
Hearthside Food Solutions, established in 2009, includes a network of 19 production facilities in seven states, with more than 7,500 full-time employees.
In 2014, the company was acquired by Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners.