US-based pretzel snack maker Stellar Snacks is set to invest $137 million in a new factory in West Louisville, Kentucky.
This investment is anticipated to create 350 new jobs at the newly established facility over the coming decade.
In a statement, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear remarked that the company’s project represents the most substantial investment and job-creation initiative in the local community in recent decades.
This facility will mark the company’s most recent and largest industrial pretzel bakery in Louisville, with construction taking place as an extension to an existing 434,000-square-foot building located at 1391 Dixie Highway.
The construction of the new factory is scheduled to commence in March 2024, and operations are slated to commence the following September.
The positions at the site will encompass roles such as master pretzel-makers and apprentices, in addition to production team members, engineering and maintenance managers, mechanics, technicians, receptionists, and human resources assistants.
Stellar Snacks expects to open the facility with approximately 100 employees, the firm’s co-founder Elisabeth Galvin told Courier Journal.
Company executives are also expected to partner with local community colleges and trade schools to offer work experience and jobs to students studying industrial, electrical and robotic engineering.
A hiring process will start once building work starts in March 2024.
The company must secure approval for state incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority before construction can begin.
Such incentives could include funding for building rail access to the factory and “per-job grants with added benefits” for employees based in any of the nine West Louisville neighbourhoods.
“I am thrilled to celebrate Stellar Snacks’ decision to locate in west Louisville. This is a major announcement for the community, adding more than 300 quality jobs with a $137m investment in one of our most underserved areas,” Louisville’s Mayor Craig Greenberg said in a statement.
“Stellar Snacks is a company that shares our values of innovation, sustainability and diversity, and we are honored to welcome them to our city.”
Founded in 2019 by mother and daughter Elisabeth and Gina Galvin, Stellar Snacks is the first woman-owned pretzel producer in the US, according to the company.
It has two plants in northern Nevada with 170 employees. Its headquarters are in Carson City, Nevada.
Stellar’s pretzel braids are sold in more than 5,000 grocery and retail stores in the US, as well as online. It also supplies products to Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and American Airlines for their in-flight snack service.
The snacks come in four “gourmet flavours”, but the group has indicated that upcoming product innovation will help it expand its selection early next year.
“We are thrilled to share that our business has seen astronomical growth after launching our brand in 2021, thanks to our people, passion and exquisite product. Since then, we have been on a mission to expand production coast to coast,” said Elisabeth Galvin.
“We are proud to announce that we have selected Louisville as our home in the Midwest. The outcome will be an important success story for our team and the people of the great state of Kentucky.”