Chicago-based Good Foods Group LLC has purchased a 57,000-square-foot building at 10100 88th Ave. in Pleasant Prairie and plans to establish production operations there and move its headquarters there, said company founder and chief executive officer Kurt Penn.
"We're very excited about it," Penn said. "The building should give us all of the tools and the room we need to grow. I'm very excited about going to the state of Wisconsin. I think it's a great place to do business. Everybody has been very supportive, accommodating and helpful."
Favorable tax rates and proximity to the freeway and to suppliers are other advantages to a Pleasant Prairie headquarters, Penn said.
Good Foods Group manufactures all natural food products including mummus, salsa, dips and guacamole.
The five-year-old company has been growing rapidly, quadrupling in size during the last year, Penn said. The company needs more space to accommodate its growth. The Pleasant Prairie facility is significantly larger, and much newer, than the 9,000-square-foot facility that the company currently occupies on the northwest side of Chicago.
Good Foods Group will bring 50 jobs to Pleasant Prairie and could expand the workforce to 150 in about two years if its growth rate continues, Penn said.
"We could have upwards of 150 (employees) if we get busy enough to open two shifts," he said.
The Pleasant Prairie building, located in Lakeview Corporate Park, was built in 1995 and was previously occupied by Rolf's Patisserie, a Lincolnwood, Ill.-based European-style commercial bakery. Rolf's planned to expand into Pleasant Prairie, but in December of 2011, just days after it began operating there, the business was shut down. In late 2010 the company was shut down for a short time after about 100 customers got sick after eating its products. Rolf's voluntarily recalled the products it made around that time. But a year later, the company was out of business.
The Pleasant Prairie building was taken back by a bank, which sold it to Good Foods Group. Penn declined to disclose the name of the bank or the sales price. The building was listed for sale on LoopNet for $3.8 million.
"We negotiated a favorable price for ourselves," Penn said.
The fact that the building was set up for food production is a major benefit for the facility, he said.
"Food manufacturing facilities are hard to come by," Penn said. "This facility is like new. It is a beautiful facility."
Good Foods Group plans to complete renovations and be operating in the Pleasant Prairie building during the first quarter of 2013. The company plans to maintain some operations at its Chicago facility for now, but the future of that facility is uncertain, Penn said.
"We like the idea of having two facilities," he said.