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Food manufacturer plans $28.5M project, 400 jobs in Indiana

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An Ohio-based food manufacturer announced Monday morning that it spend $28.5 million to expand and refurbish a vacant food plant in eastern Indiana, creating up to 400 jobs by 2016.

The Sugar Creek Packing Co. of Washington Court House, Ohio, said it plans to reopen the 77,000-square-foot plant in Cambridge City, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis, by the end of next year.

The plant had been operated by organic food company RCF Kitchens Indiana LLC, better known as Really Cool Foods, which went bankrupt last year.

Really Cool Foods employed 131 people at the plant, far short of 1,000 workers the company said it planned to hire when it moved from New York to Indiana in 2008.

To help pay creditors, according to Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, Really Cool Foods in June identified Sugar Creek as a potential buyer willing to pay $13 million for its assets, which included the plant Really Cool Foods built.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it will provide Sugar Creek up to $2.85 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $175,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.

Sugar Creek has yet to determine the types of products the plant will produce, but the company said it expects to focus on the “ready-to-eat” sales category.

Renovations to the plant are set to include additional refrigeration space and improved utility capabilities, the company said.

Sugar Creek began as a bacon processor in 1966 and since has grown into a global food manufacturer operating five facilities in Ohio and Kansas.

The company focuses on protein-related products that include pork and turkey bacon, bacon bits, meatballs and pizza toppings, in addition to sandwiches for retail and wholesale channels, meal components and made-to-order “specialty” products.
 

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