Produce distributor Caito plans $14.7M expansion, 342 jobs

Caito Foods Service Inc. plans to spend about $15 million to expand its east-side distribution operations, creating as many as 342 jobs by the end of 2019, according to a tax abatement request filed with the Department of Metropolitan Development.

Caito, an Indianapolis-based distributor of fresh produce to the grocery, restaurant and food-service industries, said it wants to build a 117,500-square-foot distribution facility on 6.3 acres it has acquired adjacent to its existing facility at 8601 E. 33rd St., near North Post Road.

Caito estimated in the city filing that it would cost $4.9 million to construct the building and about $9.8 million to equip it. In a subsequent press release, the firm said it would spend a total of more than $15 million on the project.

“This expansion will support our growth by increasing our capacity to process and package more fresh foods and produce,” said Bob Kirch, chief executive officer of Caito Foods. “Our focus is on meeting the changing needs and tastes of today’s consumers."

In exchange for the tax abatements, Caito has pledged to create 342 jobs paying an average hourly wage of $15.66. The company also says it will retain 381 jobs at an average hourly wage of $12.77.

Caito is seeking 10-year tax abatements on both the real estate and equipment.

Over the life of the abatement, the company should save $509,355 in real property taxes while paying $519,645, the DMD said. Caito’s investment in equipment should result in a tax savings of $612,809 over 10 years. The company is expected to pay $411,465 in personal property taxes during that time.

The city’s Metropolitan Development Commission is set to hear Caito’s request July 1. Final approval could come July 15.

Caito Foods was founded by brothers Philip J. Caito IV and Joseph A. Caito in the mid-1960s. The company also has distribution centers in Newcomerstown, Ohio, and Lakeland, Florida.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.