The lunch meat industry is starting to cluster in Munster, after a second cold cut company is moving an operation from Illinois to the town.
Carl Buddig & Co. plans to invest $3.7 million to lease and refurbish a 65,000-square-foot warehouse a few hundred feet from the state line. The Homewood-based company plans to transfer 45 employees from its South Holland processing plant, and add another 10 workers by 2017.
The third-generation family-owned company, which distributes products such as Old Wisconsin Sausage to grocery stores throughout the United States, is moving into the former Dawn Foods building in Munster because it needed more warehouse and dock space. The company is adding new production lines at the South Holland facility, which will take up enough space that it has to shift its warehousing to another location.
"Moving into the new Munster facility was an easy decision for the company," said Dan Wynn, chief operating officer. "Finding a food grade facility within 10 miles from the plant was a major factor in the decision. Also, since the Dawn facility was partially refrigerated, the company was able to reduce the investment needed to refrigerate the entire facility."
Wynn also cited lower property taxes and a more affordable cost of doing business in Indiana as reasons for the move.
Land O'Frost, another company that is well-known to anyone who's ever brown-bagged a sandwich, is in the process of moving its corporate headquarters from Lansing to a new $6.4 million building in Munster.
"Illinois companies are on the move – to Indiana," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "From Buddig to recent announcements from firms like MAC Medical and Tec Air, Illinois companies continue to discover that our low taxes, limited regulations, growing infrastructure and skilled workforce make Indiana a state that works for business."
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Carl Buddig & Co. up to $300,000 in tax breaks, if it employs as many people as promised.