Kent Quality Foods to Invest $35 Million in Jamestown Charter Township

Posted in News on May 11, 2016

Jamestown Charter Twp, Michigan – Kent Quality Foods, maker of franks, sausage and specialty meats for commercial customers, today announced the planned construction of a food processing facility in Jamestown Charter Township. Lakeshore Advantage worked for nearly a year in catalyzing the partners, information, incentives and support tools needed to finalize this location decision.

“The addition of a second manufacturing facility in West Michigan is very exciting for us,” stated Kent Quality Foods president Steve Soet. “The MEDC, Lakeshore Advantage and Jamestown Township worked closely with us to identify the site, and they were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. As our business continues to grow, this expansion will allow us to meet growing demand as well as provide the opportunity to expand our product lines.”

Kent Quality Foods, Inc., founded in 1967 in Grand Rapids, has gained new contracts, serving customers throughout the Unites States, and has reached capacity at its existing facility. The company’s second manufacturing facility, planned in Ottawa County’s Jamestown Charter Township, represents a $34.8 million investment by the family-owned company. The project is expected to create 140 new jobs over three years.

“It was a great pleasure to work along side the company, community and state leaders to secure this growth for our community," said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Kent Quality Foods will greatly complement our expansive community of growing food processors.”

As a result of the company’s investment and new job creation, the project has been awarded a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Kent Quality Foods chose Michigan over a competing site in Ohio for their new manufacturing facility.

“Kent Quality Foods’ decision to invest and add jobs in West Michigan demonstrates our state’s leadership in agriculture and food production with a business climate that enables the success of growing companies,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation chief executive officer Steve Arwood. “It is through the efforts of Jamestown Charter Township and Lakeshore Advantage that this expansion is taking place, and we are pleased to support the collaboration.”

Jamestown Charter Township has offered to support the project in the form of a 12-year property tax abatement on the land and building improvements.

“We are delighted to welcome Kent Quality Foods as a partner in our community,” said Ken Bergwerff, Jamestown Charter Township supervisor. “Ours is a community in which business, agriculture and residents collaborate to be of mutual benefit to each other.”

West Michigan Works! also was a key partner in supporting this growth effort, offering more than $100,000 in workforce recruitment and training support. These funds will be used to train both new and existing Kent Quality Foods employees.

"West Michigan Works! is focused on providing our region's employers with a skilled and qualified workforce so that they can meet the demands of a growing economy,” stated Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works! “We're especially pleased to support the many attraction and expansion projects happening on the lakeshore."

The Lakeshore Advantage team worked diligently for nearly nine months on this location process. Nearly 15 local and state organizations joined the Lakeshore Advantage team in winning this expansion for Jamestown Charter Township.

Consumers Energy and DTE Energy were key parts of that growth team. Consumers will provide electric support to the new location and DTE will provide natural gas service.

“Our utility partners stepped up on various components of the site selection process to ensure Kent Quality Foods had the infrastructure they needed to power this expansion project,” Owens said.


About Kent Quality Foods
Since 1967, the company has been creating some of the finest franks, sausages and specialty meats in the world. Family owned and operated for three generations, Kent is able to invest all their time and energy into making higher quality, better performing sausages and franks for customers from hot dog stands to national restaurant chains, food service companies, broad line distributors and the further processing industry. More at www.kqf.com.

About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. In 2015, Lakeshore Advantage assisted companies with 22 growth projects resulting in over $110 million dollars in new private sector investment and 780 new jobs. Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth in Ottawa County.