HORSE CAVE, Ky. (May 13, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined executives from T. Marzetti Co. and local officials to break ground on the company’s largest ever expansion, a 220-job, $133 million project to increase production of salad dressings, sauces and other foods for retail and foodservice markets.
“This expansion by T. Marzetti highlights the tremendous continued growth of Kentucky’s food and beverage sector, with the creation of hundreds of new job opportunities for residents in Central Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are building a better future here in the commonwealth, and I am proud T. Marzetti will continue to be a part of that growth well into the future. This is a great day for Hart County and the surrounding region, and I thank the leadership at T. Marzetti for furthering their commitment to our people.”
The ground breaking is the latest positive economic news for the commonwealth in recent days, highlighting that Kentucky is poised to thrive and lead in the post-COVID economy.
Marzetti originally announced the project in February 2020 as a $93 million, 140-job expansion. After last year’s pandemic put the project on pause, company leaders announced earlier this year their plans to not only move forward with the project, but increase its scope.
Today, the company broke ground on the 184,500-square-foot expansion, which will increase manufacturing space. The company plans to purchase new equipment to increase dressing and sauce production, add eight new processing kitchens and create several packaging lines to meet growing customer demand. The expansion is expected to be completed by July 2022. T. Marzetti currently employs over 500 people at the facility.
“We are proud to be expanding our operations in Horse Cave to better serve our customers and create additional jobs,” said David Nagle, chief supply chain officer at T. Marzetti. “I want to thank our local partners, as well as our Horse Cave team members, for their support of this important project. Our people are what make us The Better Food Company.”
Marzetti Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lancaster Colony Corp. headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a manufacturer and marketer of specialty food products for the retail and foodservice markets. The company’s retail brands include Marzetti, New York Bakery, Sister Schubert’s, Reames, Flatout, Angelic Bakehouse and Bantam Bagels, in addition to exclusive license agreements for Olive Garden dressings, Chick-fil-A sauces and Buffalo Wild Wings sauces. The company’s foodservice business supplies many of the top restaurant chains in the United States. Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls are also produced locally at T. Marzetti’s Horse Cave facilities, adjacent to its Marzetti brand dips and dressings operation.
Over the past two decades, T. Marzetti has announced approximately $313 million in investment with the creation of more than 780 jobs in Hart County.
Marzetti is among the more than 350 food and beverage manufacturing, service and technology facilities located in Kentucky currently employing over 52,000 people. In 2020 alone, the industry announced 53 new location or expansion projects expected to create more than 1,500 full-time jobs with $974 million in announced investments.
Marzetti’s groundbreaking adds to a wave of recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million.
Hart County Judge/Executive Joe Choate noted T. Marzetti Co.’s history of success in the community.
“Hart County has been a longtime partner with T. Marzetti Co.,” Judge/Executive Choate said. “The magistrates and I are ecstatic about another wonderful planned expansion that will further the blessings on Hart County and all surrounding areas.”
Horse Cave Mayor Randall Curry said the company has been a strong local employer over the years.
“The Horse Cave community is excited about the expansion and new jobs coming to our community,” Mayor Curry said. “T. Marzetti has been a great community partner since they established their manufacturing plant here over a decade ago, creating good-paying jobs and the opportunity for employees to have a good quality of life for their families and a bright future for the Horse Cave/Hart County community as a whole.”
John Bunnell, chairman of the Hart County Industrial Authority, said T. Marzetti’s impact extends beyond the county’s borders.
“Our blessings have continued in our partnership with T. Marzetti in Hart County,” Bunnell said. “We are again very excited about their planned expansion and how it will continue to benefit not only Hart County but our region. Wonderful opportunities exist in Hart County.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February 2020 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.75 million in tax incentives based on the company’s originally announced investment of $92.8 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 140 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $25.72, including benefits, across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
Additionally, KEDFA approved T. Marzetti for up to $250,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, T. Marzetti can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on T. Marzetti Co. and Lancaster Colony, visit LancasterColony.com.
A detailed community profile for Hart County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov, at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.