Pepperidge Farm today broke ground on a $93 million expansion of its plant in Willard.
Gov. John Kasich joined Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and Irene Chang Britt, Pepperidge Farm’s President, in a ceremony to mark the start of construction on the project.
The investment will be made over the next two years and result in the installation of a new Goldfish cracker production line and a 227,000 square foot expansion to the site. It is expected that 50 new jobs will be created once the project is completed in May 2015.
Britt said the expansion was being made to keep pace with the consumer demand for the company’s top-selling Goldfish crackers.
“Sales of Goldfish crackers have been growing consistently during the past five years, and it is critical we expand our production capacity to stay ahead of this demand,” she said.
“We appreciate the support we’ve received from the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Development Finance Authority of Summit County, Huron County Development Council and the City of Willard for this project and are proud to be in a position to continue to invest in the local community.”
The expansion to the existing 355,000 square foot site will include the new production line, new ingredient processing facilities, additional warehouse space and refurbished employee facilities.
Construction will commence in June 2013 and is expected to be completed in the Summer of 2014, with Goldfish production scheduled to commence in May 2015.
The project will be managed by Pepperidge Farm and building construction will be handled by Janotta & Herner, of Monroeville.
Pepperidge Farm Inc., based in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading provider of premium quality fresh bakery products, cookies, crackers, and frozen foods. The company was named the No. 1 Place to Work in Connecticut in the large company’s category of the Best Places to Work in Connecticut competition for 2009. Among the company’s most popular products are Sausalito and Milano cookies, Goldfish crackers, Baked Naturals crackers, frozen Puff Pastry, frozen garlic loaves and Texas toasts, and more than 50 varieties of fresh baked breads including Pepperidge Farm Swirl, Farmhouse and Whole Grain. The company recently added Ecce Panis gourmet artisan breads to its portfolio.
Pepperidge Farm was founded in Connecticut in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, an entrepreneurial homemaker who began baking fresh, all-natural bread for her allergy-afflicted son. Pepperidge Farm has been part of Campbell Soup Company since 1961.
Today, the company has nine bakeries and more than 4,000 employees.