Big Heart Pet Brands has been award an incentive grant by GO Topeka Economic Partnership to help fund a sizable expansion project to their Topeka facility located at 2200 NW Brickyard Road. JEDO approved the incentive for up to $166,760 at its meeting on Feb. 11, 2015. The grant will help fund a multi-million dollar facility expansion and new equipment at Big Heart Pet Brands’ Topeka plant. The 70,000 square-foot expansion will result in the retention of approximately 20 existing full time positions and up to eight new positions, and will bring the total square footage of the company’s Topeka facilities to 313,520 square feet. The Big Heart Pet Brands Topeka facility was in competition with two other facilities in the U.S. for this expansion. “The city of Topeka takes pride in its existing companies like Big Heart Pet Brands. We are excited to see the continued growth and investment in our community,” said Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast. “This company has a long history in our city and we hope they continue to call Topeka home for many years to come.”
“I am very excited to hear that Big Heart Pet Brands awarded this expansion to their Topeka plant after consideration of making the investment in one of its other plants located in other states. I am proud that GO Topeka was able to participate in building a proposal in support of this project resulting in Topeka being chosen for this investment,” said Scott Griffith, chairman GO Topeka Board of Directors. “Thank you to Big Heart Pet Brands for their continued investment and for building the food processing/pet food industry in Topeka and Shawnee County.”
"This agreement highlights a major JEDO focus on bringing additional employment and investment to our community from existing businesses,” said Shawnee County Commissioner Bob Archer. “It is a sign of confidence from a successful organization that knows us well."
“We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with GO Topeka and the Topeka Chamber of Commerce,” said Bob Schroeck, senior vice president of operations for Big Heart Pet Brands. “We’re committed to continuing to grow our business, and the GO Topeka grant provides great incentive to do so here in Topeka.”
GO Topeka has provided resources to assist Big Heart Pet Brands, formerly known as Del Monte Foods, in past expansions of its facility located on Brickyard Road, Topeka, Shawnee County. The company purchased the facility in 2002-2003 and has made continued investments to maintain and grow the company to accommodate business needs. In 2008, the company constructed its cutting edge robotics distribution and storage facility. This expansion resulted in the creation of 76 new jobs. In 2010, the company renovated its dry manufacturing plant which resulted in the retention of 50 existing jobs and the addition of six new positions. In 2012, the company further expanded its Topeka facility and purchased new equipment, resulting in the retention of about 23 positions and the creation of 10 new positions. Big Heart Pet Brands currently employs more than 350 full and part time employees at its Topeka pet food plant and distribution center.
J.M. Smucker is in the process of acquiring Big Heart Pet Brands, including its facilities in Topeka and Lawrence. The Topeka plant produces Meow Mix and Milk Bone and is considered one of the largest producers and distributors of premium pet foods.
More on the J.M. Smucker acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/smucker-to-buy-big-heart-pet-brands-for-5-8-billion/?_r=0