Baked food manufacturer grows in Northwest Indiana

Feb. 5, 2013

Hearthside Holdco, LLC d/b/a Hearthside Food Solutions, a manufacturer of grain-based snack foods and baked goods, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 51 new jobs by 2016.

The Downers Grove, Ill.-headquartered company will invest $6 million to renovate and add 8,600 square feet to its existing 180,000 square-foot facility located at 502 W. U.S. Hwy. 20 in Michigan City. As part of the expansion, Hearthside plans to install manufacturing equipment that will allow it to produce a cracker-based product, which is expected to be operational by this spring.

“News like this continues to put Indiana on the map as a state that works for business,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Thanks to our expansive infrastructure combined with the ability to reach 80 percent of the nation’s population within a day’s drive, Indiana is winning new investment and career opportunities for Hoosiers every day.”

Hearthside, which currently has more than 400 full-time employees in Michigan City, plans to begin hiring additional machine operator associates in March.

“We look forward to continued growth at our Indiana facility,” said Bob Wojcik, plant manager at Hearthside. “We continue to grow in a highly competitive industry, due in part, to the quality of the Indiana workforce and the state’s positive business climate. As our business continues to grow, we will continue to invest in our people, plant and equipment.”

Formed in 2009, Hearthside is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing independent bakeries and contract manufacturers, producing grain-based food and snack products. Operating 13 facilities in six states with a base of more than 5,000 employees, the company’s product line includes bars, cookies, crackers, granola, pretzels and other baked snack components.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Hearthside Holdco, LLC up to $200,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Michigan City approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana.

“The economic incentives set forth by Michigan City have created an opportunity for Hearthside to expand and grow in our community,” said Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. “As the mayor of Michigan City, I believe this expansion and ultimate job growth is a true reflection of our city’s willingness to work with current and prospective businesses to improve opportunities for both parties. I am pleased with the commitment and longevity Hearthside is clearly showing to our community.”

Hearthside is the most recent food production company to announce expansion plans in Northwest Indiana. Just last month, candy and licorice manufacturer American Licorice Company also announced plans to grow in La Porte County. The company will invest $10 million to add a new licorice production line at its La Porte facility, creating up to 35 new jobs.

About Hearthside

Hearthside Food Solutions, headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill., is the nation’s largest independent bakery and a full service contract manufacturer of high quality grain-based food and snack products for some of the world’s leading premier brands. The privately held company, formed in 2009, today operates 13 food manufacturing facilities in six states with a workforce in excess of 5,000. For more information on Hearthside Food Solutions, visit www.hearthsidefoods.com.

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC. The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.