KENTWOOD — A European maker of natural snack foods will invest nearly $42 million to establish a U.S. headquarters in Kentwood and create up to 185 jobs, state officials announced today.
SnackCraft LLC, which is owned by Greek company Unismack SA, plans to refurbish and install new equipment and machinery at a vacant Kerry Foods plant in Kentwood. Despite having a global market presence, SnackCraft’s Kentwood project will be the company’s first North American facility.
“This SnackCraft investment will create long-term economic opportunity in West Michigan’s agribusiness sector and build on our efforts to grow Michigan’s economy, create well-paying jobs, and invest in all regions of our great state,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
The Michigan Strategic Fund awarded the company a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for the project, which was chosen over a competing site in Chicago, state officials said.
Founded in 2008, Unismack specializes in the R&D and manufacturing of natural and healthy snacks.
The Kentwood plant – located at 4444 52nd St. SE – will be a co-packer and contract manufacturer of baked crackers, tortilla chips, single and twin screw extruded snacks and pelleted snacks. In addition to manufacturing, the site will also include R&D facilities and provide warehousing and some third-party logistics for its customers.
Unismack founder and CEO Dimitrios Stratakis said the Grand Rapids area “seemed like an obvious choice” to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity in the United States. He also cited advice from the economic development agency. The Good Place Inc. — who provided $5,000 in in-kind services — to help secure the location.
“There is an abundance of talent and resources here in West Michigan to help us on the next phase of our journey and we are grateful to the MEDC team for their support, insights and guidance as well as to its partners at The Right Place,” Stratakis said in a statement.
Never miss the biggest stories and breaking news from MiBiz. Sign up to receive our reports straight to your inbox every weekday morning.