WEDC award supports $11.7 million capital investment projected to create 129 jobs
MADISON, WI. April 7, 2016—The Little Potato Company has chosen to locate its U.S. head office and processing, washing, packing and storage facility in DeForest, Wisconsin. The company has a similar head office and facility in Alberta, Canada.
The Little Potato Company will invest over $20 million in its new 130,000 square-foot facility, equipment and other initiatives, $11.7 million of which qualifies for tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Located on U.S. Hwy. 51, the new facility is projected to employ 50 people when it opens in early 2017, growing to 129 full-time employees when it is fully operational.
“We are absolutely delighted to be opening our first U.S. facility in DeForest. We know of Wisconsin’s reputation for its great growers and fertile land. In addition to its proximity to key markets, we chose DeForest because we recognize shared values that have long been important to us: family, community, helping others and always being down-to-earth. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors and playing a positive role in this community,” said Angela Santiago, co-founder and president of The Little Potato Company.
The Little Potato Company considered multiple locations in the Northeast and Midwest before choosing Wisconsin for its first U.S. facility. Among the company’s top criteria for selecting the best location for its U.S. headquarters were proximity to a high-quality potato growing region with excellent growers, access to major transportation and logistics networks, and the availability of skilled workers.
“By locating its U.S. headquarters in DeForest, The Little Potato Company leverages Wisconsin’s strong agricultural history and global leadership in advanced food processing, tapping exceptional educational resources and an unmatched supply chain,” said Mark Hogan, WEDC secretary and CEO. “The attraction of The Little Potato Company’s headquarters to Wisconsin is particularly gratifying for both the number and the range of good jobs it will bring to Dane County and the surrounding area.”
WEDC is assisting The Little Potato Company’s headquarters project in Wisconsin with $740,000 in Business Development Tax Credits, which served as an incentive for the company to choose Wisconsin over competing states and are earned upon fulfillment of capital investment and job creation requirements. The Village of DeForest is also supporting the project with subsidized land, infrastructure and other incentives.
Village President Judd Blau stated, “The Little Potato Company, with their strong corporate values, will be a wonderful addition to the existing successful businesses who call DeForest home. I commend WEDC, the Madison Regional Economic Partnership and our local village resources for the collaborative efforts on this opportunity.”
“The Little Potato Company is a welcome addition to the region’s very dense agriculture, food and beverage cluster,” said Paul Jadin, president of the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP). “Congratulations and thanks to the teams at WEDC and the Village of DeForest for partnering effectively to make this happen. MadREP is pleased to have been a part of the effort to secure this great Canadian company.”
The DeForest parcel was pre-certified as development-ready through WEDC’s Certified In Wisconsin® Program. It is the eighth development project to take place on one of the 15 certified sites throughout the state, which to date have drawn $240 million in investment.
Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Little Potato Company maintains distribution centers and a grower network throughout the U.S. and Canada to serve customers across these markets. The new DeForest facility will help The Little Potato Company maximize its operational efficiency and effectiveness.
The Little Potato Company’s proprietary product line of colorful, tasty and nutritious Creamer potatoes include Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle and others available in produce sections at grocers and retailers all across the U.S. and Canada, in distinctive packaging ranging from unique 1.5 lb gusset bags to five-pound bags. The Little Potato Company also offers Microwave- and Oven|Grill-Ready kits with gluten-free seasonings in various flavors.