Martin-Brower Anticipates 150 New Jobs for MI Expansion

Martin-Brower Co. LLC plans to more than double the size of its St. Johns, MI facility in a move that will create up to 150 new jobs.

Martin-Brower is a food and materials supplier as well as a logistics services provider for restaurant chains. The company’s main customer is McDonald’s Corp.

“We provide McDonald’s with everything they need to do business,” said Tom Bates, Martin-Brower’s general manager.

The St. Johns facility distributes exclusively to McDonald’s restaurants in much of the Lower Peninsula, part of the Upper Peninsula and northern Indiana. With the expansion, the rest of Michigan will be added.

The expansion from 65,000 square feet to 167,000 square feet is expected to be complete before the end of the year.

Martin-Brower plans to add 125 jobs in the first year and another 25 in the following two years. The company currently has 184 employees.

Hiring will begin over the next 45 days, said Molly Reilly, a Martin-Brower spokesperson. Most of the new hires will be drivers and warehouse workers.

Tom Bates, general manager for the St. Johns operation, said starting pay for warehouse positions will be about $13 per hour. Truck driver wages will start at about $18 per hour.

“The community has worked together to help this expansion become a reality,” Bates said in a statement. “We are impressed with the city, the industrial park and our neighbors’ collaborative efforts, all in the best interest of continued good business and growth here in St. Johns,” he said.

Several nearby businesses in the St. Johns Industrial Park are moving or making other changes to accommodate the larger Martin-Brower operation. Michigan Wire Cloth has sold its property to Martin-Brower and is buying space from Barnard Manufacturing. Innovative Polymer sold some property back to the city for $1 so Martin-Brower can have the required amount of road frontage behind its facility.

“For us, it’s about working together for the betterment of the community,” said Dennis LaForest, St. Johns city manager. “At the end of the day, we all reap the benefits of good positive growth.”