Michigan Hot Dog Maker To Expand, Hire 140 Workers

Kent Quality Foods, Inc., a Grand Rapids-based maker of franks, sausage and specialty meats for commercial customers, will build its second food processing facility in Jamestown Charter Township, MI.

Michigan food processing
(Credit: Kent Quality Foods, Inc.)

“The addition of a second manufacturing facility in West Michigan is very exciting for us,” said Kent Quality Foods president Steve Soet. “The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), Lakeshore Advantage and Jamestown Township worked closely with us to identify the site, and they were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. As our business continues to grow, this expansion will allow us to meet growing demand as well as provide the opportunity to expand our product lines.”

Family-owned Kent Quality Foods, founded in 1967, has gained new contracts, serving customers throughout the United States, and has reached capacity at its existing facility. The company’s second manufacturing facility represents a $34.8 million investment, and is expected to create 140 new jobs over three years.

“It was a great pleasure to work along side the company, community and state leaders to secure this growth for our community,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Kent Quality Foods will greatly complement our expansive community of growing food processors.”

As a result of the company’s investment and new job creation, the project has been awarded a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Kent Quality Foods chose Michigan over a competing site in Ohio for its new manufacturing facility.

“Kent Quality Foods’ decision to invest and add jobs in West Michigan demonstrates our state’s leadership in agriculture and food production with a business climate that enables the success of growing companies,” said MEDC chief executive officer Steve Arwood. “It is through the efforts of Jamestown Charter Township and Lakeshore Advantage that this expansion is taking place, and we are pleased to support the collaboration.”

Jamestown Charter Township has offered Kent Quality Foods a 12-year property tax abatement on the land and building improvements.

“We are delighted to welcome Kent Quality Foods as a partner in our community,” said Ken Bergwerff, Jamestown Charter Township supervisor. “Ours is a community in which business, agriculture and residents collaborate to be of mutual benefit to each other.”

West Michigan Works! is offering the company more than $100,000 in workforce recruitment and training support. The funds will be used to train both new and existing Kent Quality Foods employees.

“West Michigan Works! is focused on providing our region’s employers with a skilled and qualified workforce so that they can meet the demands of a growing economy,” said Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works! “We’re especially pleased to support the many attraction and expansion projects happening on the lakeshore.”

The Lakeshore Advantage team worked with Kent Quality Foods for nearly nine months on the location process. Nearly 15 local and state organizations joined the Lakeshore Advantage team, including Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. Consumers Energy will provide electric support to the new location, and DTE will provide natural gas service.

“Our utility partners stepped up on various components of the site selection process to ensure Kent Quality Foods had the infrastructure they needed to power this expansion project,” Owens said.

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