With close proximity to the rich potato farms of America’s heartland, Beloit was a natural choice for Kettle Brand’s second U.S. potato chip factory.
The 140,000 square-foot Kettle Brand plant opened in 2007 with 200 employees, earning the first Gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®). The Wisconsin facility was constructed with the goal of creating a great work environment for employees when it comes to physical space and indoor air quality.
“We set out to open a second plant to service the East Coast more sustainably, using less energy and resources than if we were to fulfill completely from our West Coast plant in Salem, Ore.,” says Denton Hatton, director of manufacturing. “What resulted was a plant that set a new standard for sustainable manufacturing in the U.S., from converting used cooking oil into biodiesel to wind power to nearing a zero-waste goal.”
The $38 million expansion made Kettle Brand an even stronger presence in Beloit. “Our expansion in Beloit created new jobs in the area and doubled the production capacity of the plant,” says Hatton. “We’re also always increasing our sustainability presence as part of the company’s overarching commitment to limiting its impact on the environment wherever possible. We have offset 100 percent of the electricity used to operate our Beloit facility with renewable wind power.”
“The Kettle Brand project was a fun one to work with from beginning to end,” says Janke. “Their approach to development was outstanding. They picked not just a site but a community, because they were concerned about quality of life, location, and what the community offered. Everything aligned perfectly for us in what we were looking for in a company and what they were looking for in a community.”