LANSING — Wednesday, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development approved a Food and Agriculture Investment Fund performance-based grant of $150,000 for Snackwerks of Michigan LLC, located in Battle Creek. The grant will help offset some of the $3.9 million in private investment for equipment and building renovations necessary to produce baked goods for a leading, international cookie company. Funding for this grant will come from Fiscal Year 2019 carry-forward dollars and is subject to approval by the Michigan Legislature.
Formed in 2016, Snackwerks of Michigan produces bakery products for branded food companies. The company is known for providing best-in-class supply chain production for a wide variety of customers, ranging from large Fortune 500 companies to new companies launching their first products.
“This is a tremendous opportunity not only for Snackwerks and Battle Creek, but also for farmers and suppliers all over Michigan,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We couldn’t be more excited to support a great project like this. The resources, innovation and talent we have in our great state continue to attract food and ag companies from around the country and around the world—and we have room for many more.”
The product that Snackwerks of Michigan will produce for its client is a type of cookie that requires a complicated multi-step process to manufacture. Currently, the cookie company imports millions of cookies into the U.S. every year. With the support of MDARD and other partners like Battle Creek Unlimited and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Snackwerks will be able to manufacture the cookies locally under an arrangement that allows Snackwerks to own the equipment and use it for other customers. The project is expected to create 38 new jobs in Battle Creek.
“It is great to see a solid company like Snackwerks growing in our community,” said Shabaka Gibson, Vice President at Battle Creek Unlimited. “We look forward to continuing to create a supportive home for food and ag companies.”
“The decision by Snackwerks to expand in Michigan means more jobs for our residents and will further support our state’s critical food processing industry,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Jeff Mason. “We’re pleased this Michigan company has chosen to expand in Battle Creek and will continue to elevate the profile and profitability of Michigan’s agriculture businesses.”
“We are excited about the potential for this new business opportunity to drive food business growth and innovation here in Michigan, and grateful for the support from organizations such as MDARD, MEDC and Battle Creek Unlimited,” said Jeff Grogg, President of Snackwerks of Michigan.
With the new equipment and capacity, Snackwerks stands to gain significant additional business from other customers, translating to even better business opportunities and more jobs. Michigan agriculture and food ingredient suppliers also will benefit from this new opportunity, as Snackwerks prefers to source ingredients from Michigan suppliers when they meet customer specifications. Snackwerks is currently sourcing from many Michigan companies, and the new production capability will help grow Michigan-based food consumer products companies.
— Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
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