LAPORTE | American Licorice Co. is planning a $10 million investment in its LaPorte manufacturing plant that will create 35 new jobs by 2015, the company announced late Tuesday.
The candy and licorice manufacturer plans to equip and renovate its 285,000-square-foot facility at 1900 Whirlpool Drive with the installation of a licorice production line and a rail spur to allow the company to receive ingredients by rail.
American Licorice is one of the nation's original licorice manufacturers and produces Red Vines, Sour Punch, Natural Vines, Super Ropes and Snaps.
"It is a great day any time we can celebrate the growth of a company with a long history of sustained success and community involvement," said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in a statement.
The Bend, Ore.-based company employs 150 Hoosiers at the LaPorte facility and 500 nationwide. Hiring of additional production assistants is expected to begin next year.
"American Licorice has been making candy for the past 99 years and we look to sustain that momentum for many more," said John Kretchmen, CEO of American Licorice. "Indiana's centralized location within the United States and its business-friendly climate at the state and local levels were both contributing factors in our decision to grow at our LaPorte facility."
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered American Licorice up to $200,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. The incentives are contingent upon the hiring of Indiana residents.
The city of LaPorte approved additional tax abatements at the request of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corp.
The company was named the 2012 Corporate Citizen of the Year by the Greater LaPorte Chamber of Commerce in recognition of its community involvement.
"American Licorice has been a great community partner for many years and I am thrilled to see them enjoy success here in LaPorte," Mayor Blair Milo said in the statement. "We look forward to continuing to partner with them in the days ahead as they continue to thrive and prosper."