The Little Potato Co.
“We know of Wisconsin’s reputation for its great growers and fertile land. In addition to its proximity to key markets, we chose DeForest because we recognize shared values that have long been important to us: family, community, helping others and always being down-to-earth.” —Angela Santiago, Co-Founder and President, The Little Potato Company
The Little Potato Company’s proprietary product line of colorful, tasty and nutritious Creamer potatoes includes Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle and others available in produce sections at grocers and retailers all across the U.S. and Canada, in distinctive packaging ranging from unique 1.5 lb gusset bags to 5 lb bags. The company also offers microwave- and oven/grill-ready kits with gluten-free seasonings in various flavors. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Little Potato maintains distribution centers and a grower network throughout the U.S. and Canada to serve customers across these markets.
Little Potato recently decided to locate its first U.S. processing, washing, packing and storage facility in DeForest, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin facility will also serve as the company’s U.S. headquarters; the main corporate headquarters is in Alberta, Canada. The DeForest parcel was pre-certified as development-ready through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) Certified In Wisconsin Program. Located on U.S. Hwy. 51, the new facility opened in early this year and employs about 50 people, expected to increase to 129 employees when fully operational.
Little Potato invested over $20 million in its new 130,000 square-foot facility, equipment and other initiatives, $11.7 million of which qualified for performance-based tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The Village of DeForest also supported the project with subsidized land, infrastructure and other incentives.
A FRIENDLY WELCOME
“By locating its U.S. headquarters in DeForest, The Little Potato Company leverages Wisconsin’s strong agricultural history and global leadership in advanced food processing, tapping exceptional educational resources and an unmatched supply chain,” said Mark Hogan, WEDC secretary and CEO. “The attraction of The Little Potato Company’s headquarters to Wisconsin is particularly gratifying for both the number and the range of good jobs it will bring to Dane County and the surrounding area.”
“By welcoming Cellular Dynamics Inc. to the Fujifilm Group and by combining the technologies and knowhow of both companies, we will seek synergies and efficiencies to be more competitive in the field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine.”
Two Wisconsin companies, Cellular Dynamics and TeraMedica, were acquired by Tokyo-based Fujifilm in 2015. Fujifilm is a global company that creates innovative products and delivers effective solutions in a wide variety of fields to serve society, contribute to the quality of life and enhance environmental sustainability. Its three main business fields are imaging solutions, document solutions and information solutions.
Founded in 2004 and located in Madison, Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) develops and manufactures fully functioning human cells. CDI, which employs 150 people, was acquired by Fujifilm in March 2015 for $307 million. Founded in 2001 and based in Wauwatosa, TeraMedica Inc. develops software for diagnostic imaging tools. The company employs 40 people, and its software has been deployed at more than 200 U.S. hospitals and more than 300 hospitals outside the U.S. In 2013, Fujifilm signed a U.S. distribution partnership with the company. The acquisition, which makes this relationship permanent, took place in May 2015; price data were not released.
“By welcoming Cellular Dynamics Inc. to the Fujifilm Group and by combining the technologies and knowhow of both companies, we will seek synergies and efficiencies to be more competitive in the field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine,” said Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori.
A Friendly Welcome
As part of a business development mission to Japan in 2015, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) representatives met with executives at Fujifilm to discuss the acquisitions. WEDC’s goal is to help connect companies with local resources to benefit both the acquiring company and the residents and economy of Wisconsin.
"We’re setting up shop here in Wisconsin."
Smart Waters, based in Vancouver, designs and produces water reserve systems for the construction industry, as well as for municipal use. The systems collect large quantities of rainwater in underground reserves to prevent city storm water systems from being overwhelmed. Additionally, the water can then be reused for irrigation, firefighting or in paper or pulp production, among other uses.
Upon receiving an invitation from The Water Council, headquartered in Milwaukee, to apply for its BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin) accelerator, Smart Waters submitted an application in 2015. CEO Jamie Gordy said the company was motivated by the opportunity to introduce its technology to the U.S. market and jumped at the chance to participate in the accelerator program. That same year, Smart Waters was accepted into the BREW, where it received access to cutting-edge labs and equipment and renowned mentors, as well as office space in the Global Water Center, to help grow its offerings. The goal of bringing participants’ products to commercialization by the end of the program acts to accelerate companies’ growth. “The Water Council bends over backwards to connect you to partners and investors,” said Gordy.
CEO Jamie Gordy said he didn’t know much about Milwaukee when the company first came to the area for the BREW. But since then, Smart Waters has thrived in the state’s strong cluster of water technology companies and research. Thanks to that abundance of water innovation, Gordy said, “We’re setting up shop here in Wisconsin.” He said that he’ll hire approximately 5 to 10 new employees to staff the new base of operations.
A Friendly Welcome
Thanks to its participation in the BREW, Smart Waters is receiving up to $50,000 in funding, in addition to free office space for a year in the Global Water Center. The company also was able to attend WEFTEC 2016, the world’s largest water technology trade show, to participate in the trade show’s BREW Tank event and showcase its technology to the thousands of WEFTEC attendees.
"Our partnership with the people of Wisconsin and state and local officials is a major reason for our ongoing success. We look forward to many more years of providing good jobs and making food products of the highest quality right here in Wisconsin."
The history of Japan-based Kikkoman Corporation stretches back more than 300 years, and the company maintains the exacting standards of quality developed through the ages in the production of its flagship soy sauce product. From its origins as a staple Japanese and Chinese ingredient and the official soy sauce of the Japanese imperial household, Kikkoman soy sauce has grown to become an indispensable flavor in cuisines worldwide. Today, Kikkoman soy sauce is produced in ten factories around the world, including the company’s North American production headquarters in Walworth, Wisconsin, where 175 of its more than 5,500 employees continue a long and well-respected culinary tradition. Kikkoman’s Wisconsin plant produces more brewed soy sauce than any other facility worldwide.
Kikkoman selected Wisconsin as its North American headquarters in 1972 because it needed a location that was centrally located to ensure efficient distribution. The region’s climate is also optimally conducive to the production of the two main ingredients in soy sauce—soy beans and wheat. Another requirement for the company’s location was a workforce that was both hardworking and loyal—two traits Wisconsinites are famous for. In the more than 40 years that Kikkoman has been operating in Wisconsin, its plant here has increased production twenty-fold. “Our company’s founders had tremendous foresight in deciding to locate in Wisconsin,” says Kikkoman’s vice president of administration Dan Miller. “The quality of life and increasingly business-friendly environment in Wisconsin is unmatched in other parts of the country. Kikkoman Foods could not have grown our business as successfully in any other place.
Wisconsin’s mutually beneficial partnership with Kikkoman represents the positive outcomes that result from a shared commitment to business development. Considering the suppliers, service providers and contractors that support the company’s operations, Kikkoman’s economic impact on the state’s economy is significant. “Our partnership with the people of Wisconsin and state and local officials is a major reason for our ongoing success,” relates Miller. “We look forward to many more years of providing good jobs making food products of the highest quality right here in Wisconsin.”
"In Wisconsin we have access to a qualified labor force at all levels. From production personnel and engineers to support staff. Wisconsin has a high concentration of workers with the skills we are looking for."
Ingeteam specializes in the development of electrical equipment, motors, generators, frequency converters, electrical engineering and power generation plants. Its products seek to optimize energy consumption and maximize generating efficiency. The company primarily serves four key sectors: energy; industry; marine; and rail traction.
Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, Ingeteam today comprises 20 companies with more than 3,000 employees worldwide, in locations including Spain, Mexico, China, India, Italy, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Australia and South Africa. It has annual revenues of approximately $420 million.
At Ingeteam’s factory in Milwaukee, which was established in 2010, the company manufactures solar power inverters, wind power generators, and converters for the North American market. The facility employs 100 workers. It has tripled its staffing numbers in the five years since it opened, “and we expect to keep growing at a good pace,” says Aitor Sotes, CEO of Ingeteam’s U.S. division.
An Ideal Location
Ingeteam chose Wisconsin after more than a year of searching for the perfect U.S. location. The state’s extensive history of manufacturing electrical equipment and components meant that right away, Ingeteam had a well-developed supply chain for its U.S. operation. The Milwaukee site appealed to Ingeteam because of its easy access to major highways and due to its proximity to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, which has direct flights to Europe, says Sotes. Energy, power and control is a sector strength for Wisconsin, and being located here means many of Ingeteam’s vendors are close by. In addition, says Sotes, “In Wisconsin we have access to a qualified labor force at all levels. From production personnel and engineers to support staff. Wisconsin has a high concentration of workers with the skills we are looking for.”
A Friendly Welcome
Ingeteam received $4.5 million in tax credits and a $500,000 loan from the State of Wisconsin in conjunction with the decision to open its Milwaukee facility. The company also received $1.66 million in clean technology manufacturing tax credits from the federal government, and additional assistance from the City of Milwaukee.
“The Jackson and Sturtevant locations provide Kerry and our customers with value-added benefits, including a strong talent pool, robust transportation infrastructure and central proximity to our North American customers and suppliers.”
Kerry, a division of Tralee, Ireland-based Kerry Group plc and the leading supplier of taste and nutrition solutions for the worldwide food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries has multiple locations throughout Wisconsin, including a regional headquarters in Beloit. The global company has established an industry-leading portfolio of taste and nutrition systems for food manufacturers and foodservice customers in over 120 different countries.
With manufacturing facilities located in 25 countries and international sales offices in 20 countries across the globe, Kerry was looking for a way to enhance its operations to keep up with industry demands. The company wanted to further optimize its production footprint by investing in the expansion of two facilities, one focused on its seasoning business and the other on its dairy and culinary business.
After conducting a company-wide evaluation of facilities under consideration for expansion, Kerry chose to invest in its Sturtevant and Jackson, Wis. facilities to meet its business needs. Kerry executives felt these two locations provided many value-added benefits, including a strong talent pool, robust transportation infrastructure and central proximity to North American customers and suppliers.
An Ideal Location
Throughout the decision-making process the company collaborated with WEDC and local officials to ensure a smooth process for both projects. Ultimately, Kerry decided to move its out-of-Wisconsin seasoning facility into the Sturtevant location, and relocate a spice warehouse from Illinois to merge with the existing seasoning facility.
A Friendly Welcome
WEDC provided a $300,000 forgivable loan to assist with the Sturtevant building expansion, a project that is expected to retain 78 existing positions and create 25 new full-time positions. The organization is also offering a $597,000 tax credit to expand the Jackson facility, which will help retain 125 existing positions and create 60 new full-time jobs.
Agropur Dairy Cooperative
“[Our investment in the state] truly shows how committed we are to establishing our leadership in the U.S. market and to the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry.”
Quebec-based Agropur Dairy Cooperative’s more than 3,400 members sold more than C$4.7 billion worth of product in 2014. The cooperative owns two entities–Agropur Inc. and Agropur MSI, LLC–and operates 12 plants across the United States. The cooperative’s American facilities process and produce cheese, ingredients and beverages.
Agropur processes more than 11.2 billion pounds of milk per year and boasts an impressive line of products that includes such prestigious brands as Natrel, Québon, OKA, Farmers, Central Dairies, Island Farms and Agropur Grand Cheddar. Its ingredient lines also include Keystone Stabilizer Systems and Cornerstone Protein Products. It provides formulation support for new and improved products in the fields of bakery, beverage, frozen dessert, cheese, sports nutrition, health and wellness, and medical nutrition.
The company is multifaceted and works on both dairy and non-dairy applications. The company also provides full contract manufacturing services, dry powder processing and packaging for private label customers. With headquarters in Longeuil, Quebec, its primary market is Canada, although the company has been expanding the U.S.—particularly in the Midwest. Established in 1938, the company has 28 manufacturing facilities in Canada, 12 in the U.S., and a total of nearly 8,000 employees. Products from the U.S. plants have won numerous international awards at the World Championship Cheese Contest and the United States Championship Cheese Contest. Agropur’s Feta cheese was named 2014 World Champion Feta and 2013 United States Champion Feta.
The company produces cheese and cheese products at four plants in Wisconsin: Luxemburg, La Crosse, Little Chute and Weyauwega. Agropur acquired the Luxemburg, Little Chute and Weyauwega plants in 2008 in a transaction with Trega Foods.
A Friendly Welcome
The company is embarking a on a $55 million expansion project at Weyauwega facility to increase its Feta cheese production capacity. The expansion is being undertaken to meet the growing demand for Agropur’s award-winning Feta cheese, and is expected to create 22 new jobs. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing Agropur with up to $1.65 million in state tax credits to ensure the company expands its operations in Wisconsin. Agropur CEO Robert Coallier said Agropur’s investment in the state “truly shows how committed we are to establishing our leadership in the U.S. market and to the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry.”
“As a global company based in the United Kingdom, 4imprint had several options for its expansion project, but chose to invest in Wisconsin because it was the best fit for the company’s growth strategy and because it enabled the company to continue providing outstanding customer service.”
4imprint Inc. is the largest direct marketer of promotional products in North America, with sales of nearly $400 million. The company sells pens, bags, mugs, T-shirts and thousands of other products capable of bearing a logo or promotional message to businesses, government and nonprofit organizations.
The company was founded in Indiana in 1985 as Nelson Marketing and moved to Wisconsin in 1988. In 1996, Nelson Marketing was purchased by London-based Bemrose Group plc. In 2000, Bemrose was renamed 4imprint Group plc and Nelson Marketing was renamed 4imprint Inc. The UK-based parent company has more than $350 million in annual revenue.
4imprint Inc. has two facilities in Oshkosh – its North American headquarters and a distribution center—and employs about 650 people. The company serves more than 100,000 customers in the United States and Canada—from small churches and schools to Fortune 500 companies.
A Friendly Welcome
The company is receiving up to $1 million in state tax credits to help finance a $10.8 million expansion project in Oshkosh. The project calls for expanding the distribution center by 100,000 square feet and the corporate office in downtown Oshkosh by 25,000 square feet. The distribution center expansion will allow the company to keep pace with increased customer demand, providing additional space to support 4imprint’s popular free promotional products sample programs, embroidered apparel offerings and distribution team. Over the next three years, 4imprint expects to add 150 new positions in customer service, marketing and merchandising, art, embroidery, IT, accounting and support functions. As a global company based in the United Kingdom, 4imprint had several options for its expansion project, but chose to invest in Wisconsin because it was the best fit for the company’s growth strategy and because it enabled the company to continue providing outstanding customer service, said CEO Kevin Lyons-Tarr.
“Coming into a market that is predisposed to the motorcycling mindset will aid in establishing our footprint more rapidly. This makes Milwaukee the optimal location for our headquarters. We look forward to being able to add our own unique imprint on this enthusiast landscape.”
Originally based in the United Kingdom, Royal Enfield has been making motorcycles since 1901, and is the world’s oldest motorcycle company with continuous production. Today, Royal Enfield is owned by Eicher Motors Ltd., headquartered in New Delhi, India. Royal Enfield produces iconic motorcycles with classic styling, and has logged 50 percent growth every year for the past five years. Parent company the Eicher Group also manufactures trucks, buses and other types of vehicles.
In 2015, the Eicher Group announced the opening of North America operations, with a facility to be located in Milwaukee. The company is occupying a temporary office in the city’s Fifth Ward while renovating permanent office space in the Third Ward, with occupancy expected in 2016. When completed, the office will house operations, marketing, sales, warranty, service, dealership development and finance functions for the North American business.
AN IDEAL LOCATION
“Milwaukee is the epicenter of motorcycling in the U.S.,” says Rod Copes, president of Royal Enfield North America. “There is a well-established motorcycling culture here that does not exist in other cities to the same depth. Coming into a market that is predisposed to the motorcycling mindset will aid in establishing our footprint more rapidly. This makes Milwaukee the optimal location for our headquarters. We look forward to being able to add our own unique imprint on this enthusiast landscape.”
A FRIENDLY WELCOME
To help secure the establishment of this office, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has agreed to provide the company with up to $100,000 in state tax credits through 2017. The actual amount of credits awarded will be contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time period, and the company anticipates employment at the Milwaukee facility to reach 25 people by the end of 2017.
“Combined with the quality of our people and products, the fact that this facility has one of the best safety records in Saint-Gobain Corp., and the support of the state and local government, this made the expansion decision easy.”
Saint-Gobain Corp. is a Paris-based multinational corporation with more than 350 years of experience and expertise in engineered materials. Saint-Gobain transforms raw materials into advanced products for use in daily lives. It is one of the 100 largest industrial companies in the world, with more than €43 billion in annual sales and 194,000 employees in 64 countries.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain Corp. Within the innovative materials sector, the company is a recognized leader in advanced polymer technology. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics employs more than 6,000 people in 16 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, and operates 54 manufacturing sites.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics purchased its Portage, Wisconsin, facility in 2001, during its acquisition of Actuant. The building was initially a shoe factory, and more recently, under Actuant, had operated as a silicone processing plant serving the medical industry. The Portage facility is part of the company’s Life Sciences Group, and acts as a custom manufacturer of silicone and thermoplastic components for original equipment manufacturers of medical devices. The facility operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It underwent expansions in 2003, 2005 and 2011, and in 2015 announced plans to undertake another expansion.
AN IDEAL LOCATION
The company considered other international options before choosing Portage for this expansion project, under which Saint-Gobain has committed to create dozens of new positions and retain 300 existing positions, with capital investment of $11.5 million. “Our Portage plant has a long history of profitable growth,” said Marco Corrales, vice president of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ Fluid Systems Division. “Combined with the quality of our people and products, the fact that this facility has one of the best safety records in Saint-Gobain Corp., and the support of the state and local government, this made the expansion decision easy.”
A FRIENDLY WELCOME
Discussions with Saint Gobain occurred in collaboration with the Governor’s Trade Mission to Western Europe in April 2015. As an incentive for Saint-Gobain to stay—and expand—in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will provide the company with $700,000 in state tax credits over the next three years, contingent upon the company honoring its commitments for capital investment and job creation and retention.