Michigan City snack maker expanding, to add up to 51 jobs

2013-02-06T10:30:00Z 2013-02-06T15:15:11Z Michigan City snack maker expanding, to add up to 51 jobsBowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
February 06, 2013 10:30 am  • 

An Illinois-based company is moving forward with plans to expand its Michigan City food manufacturing facility and create up to 51 new jobs in LaPorte County by 2016.

Hearthside Holdco LLC, which does business as Hearthside Food Solutions, said last year it planned to spend $6 million to add 8,600 square feet to its existing 180,000 square-foot facility at 502 W. U.S. 20.

But the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday it offered Hearthside up to $200,000 in tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. The state agency said the tax credits are performance-based, meaning until people are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The Michigan City facility employs more than 400 full-time employees and next month, the company expects to hire additional machine operator associates.

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based maker of grain-based snack foods and baked goods will install equipment allowing it to produce a cracker-based product. The equipment 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 Corp. "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."

Michigan City approved an additional tax abatement at the request of the Michigan City Economic Development Corp.

Hearthside was formed in 2009 and said it is one of nation's largest independent bakeries. It operates 13 facilities in six states and has more than 5,000 employees. The company's product line includes bars, cookies, crackers, granola, pretzels and other baked snack components.

Hearthside acquired the Michigan City facility in May 2010 as part of its acquisition of McComb, Ohio-based Consolidated Biscuit Co. The plant, formerly known as Michigan City Baking, has operated in the city for about 50 years.

The state agency said Hearthside is the most recent food production company to announce expansion plans in the county following American Licorice Co. American Licorice said last month it would invest $10 million to add a new licorice production line at its La Porte facility and create up to 35 new jobs.


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