Huron County Development Council

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Prosperity. Achievement. Rise.

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Our Success Stories 

 
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The Pepperidge Farm Plant Expansion

Goldfish Make a Big Splash in Willard

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From left: Willard Plant Manager Rick Sheppard, HCDC Executive Director Carol Knapp, Team NEO Christine Nelson, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Campbell Soup President & CEO Denise Morrison, Pepperidge Farm President Irene Britt, Willard City Manager Brian Humphress, and JobsOhio Managing Director David Mustine.

From left: Willard Plant Manager Rick Sheppard, HCDC Executive Director Carol Knapp, Team NEO Christine Nelson, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Campbell Soup President & CEO Denise Morrison, Pepperidge Farm President Irene Britt, Willard City Manager Brian Humphress, and JobsOhio Managing Director David Mustine.

The robust sales of Goldfish over an extended period of time created the need for additional manufacturing capacity of the popular snack crackers.  The Willard, Ohio Pepperidge Farm plant was chosen as the location for this expansion.


On June 20, 2013, Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, a subsidiary of Campbell Soup Company, announced the $93 million plant expansion to the Willard facility.  The plant expansion created 50 new jobs and retained 543 in Huron County.  An estimated 500 construction jobs resulted from this expansion as well. 


The 227,000 square foot expansion nearly doubled the current 355,000 square foot facility.  The additional space houses a new Goldfish production line, new ingredient processing facilities, additional warehouses space, and refurbished employee facilities.


This project was a case study of the positive outcome that results from local, regional, and state organizations working together.  The City of Willard, Willard City School District, and Pioneer Career & Technology Center provided local support for the project.  The Development Finance Authority provided financing for the $40 million capital investment, with Team NEO and JobsOhio assisting with incentives to help offset the additional $53 million in machinery and equipment and other project costs.  The Huron County Development Council was involved with the project from Day 1, providing oversight and coordination and addressing any speed bumps in the process.    

Star Of The West

Milling Company Big News In Willard 

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Star of the West Milling Company of Ohio’s new facility in Willard is indeed big news!  Towering over the treetops, the new flour mill is located at 3510 State Route 103 – adjacent to Pepperidge Farm.  The mill, warehouse, and office area exceeds 45,000 square feet, plus a four-pack wheat silo and two steel silos.  The total project consisted of the buildings, new machinery and equipment, new furniture and fixtures, and new inventory totaling $48,300,000.  Eighteen new jobs were created in Huron County in addition to the construction jobs. 
 
The flour mill features state-of-the-art equipment unique to United States flour producing facilities. Janotta & Herner of Monroeville was general contractor for the project.  William Dauch Concrete of Norwalk played a significant role in the construction of this new facility.  The concrete for the silos at the facility were poured 24-hours straight for 6-1/2 days!  This feat was captured on time-release video (shown to the right). 

Star of the West processes local grain into flour which is then sent directly to Pepperidge Farm, one of the flour mill’s major customers, through a blower connector system.  Perhaps the freshest flour available! 

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 The Wakeman Elevator

Brings History Back To Life

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Jeff and Darlene Krieger have brought history back to life in Wakeman with the Wakeman Elevator Craft Beer & Wine Barn!  Originally built in the late 1800s, the elevator started as an iron foundry supplying barrel stays for the barrel cooper.  Around 1900 it was converted to a flour mill with the rear of the property housing the railroad coal supply.
 
Following a fire around 1910, the elevator was reconstructed using material from the Bright House, a hotel built around 1848.  The massive oak beams in the elevator were salvaged from the hotel’s ballroom.  Operating until the late 1960s, the grain elevator has been brought back to life by the Kriegers.  The event room features rustic charm and houses historic pieces from the Wakeman area.   The Craft Beer and Wine Barn is a hot spot in Wakeman attracting visitors from throughout the region.    

 

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