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Ohio Food Company Plans To Reopen Indiana Plant

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 12:50pm

CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. (AP) — A food-processing company from Ohio announced plans Monday to reopen an eastern Indiana plant where an organic food company had planned to hire 1,000 workers before shutting down last year.

Sugar Creek Packing Co. said it would spend about $15 million to expand and refurbish the former Really Cool Foods plant near Cambridge City and expected to have it back in operation late next year. Sugar Creek bought the property for $13 million last month in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The Washington Court House, Ohio-based company has five facilities in Ohio and Kansas and prepares a variety of raw and fully cooked products for domestic and international customers. It said a decision hasn't been made on what it will produce at the Indiana plant, where it expects to potentially have 400 workers by 2016.

Really Cool Foods had about 130 workers when it shut down, having never come close to its hiring plans announced in 2007 for the plant in Cambridge City's industrial park about 50 miles east of Indianapolis.

"Having the closed food processing plant in the Indiana Gateway Industrial Park brought back into use with new jobs and investment is tremendous," said Doug Williamson, president of the Wayne County commissioners.

Sugar Creek said its work at the plant would include additional refrigeration space and the enhancement of utilities capabilities.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it offered Sugar Creek up to nearly $2.9 million in conditional tax credits and up to $175,000 in training grants based on the job-creation plans.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels touted Really Cool Foods in his 2008 State of the State speech as one of several companies responsible for breaking records "for new investment and new jobs coming to our state." Daniels issued a statement Monday welcoming Sugar Creek's announcement.

"With our well-trained workforce and low tax and regulation policies, Sugar Creek will have every chance for success," Daniels said.

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