LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined state and local officials and leaders from pretzel manufacturer Stellar Snacks to announce the company’s commitment to invest $137 million and create 350 full-time Kentucky jobs over the next 10 years in West Louisville, the single largest economic development project the state has on record for the community over the past 20 years.
The project is contingent upon final approval of state incentives by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority not related to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program currently in place for the West End Opportunity Partnership. These incentives may include support for rail access to the building and per-job grants with added benefits for the hiring of individuals who reside in the nine neighborhoods that comprise the West End Opportunity area.
“I want to welcome Stellar Snacks to Kentucky and to West Louisville as this incredible project represents what we believe is the single largest investment and job-creation project in the community over the last several decades,” Gov. Beshear said. “Not only are we getting a growth-minded company that is creating hundreds of quality jobs in the area, but a company with leaders who truly want to engrain themselves in this wonderful community for years to come. Stellar Snacks is a perfect fit in so many ways, and I cannot wait to see the company grow and prosper here well into the future.”
Stellar Snacks is the first woman-owned pretzel manufacturer in the United States. The investment will establish the company’s newest and largest industrial pretzel bakery in Louisville in an existing 434,000-square-foot building at 1391 Dixie Highway. Work on the first-class manufacturing facility is scheduled to begin in March 2024 with the baking of the first products at the location in September 2024. Jobs created at the Louisville operation will consist of pretzel-makers – including master pretzel-maker and apprentice roles – production team members, engineering and maintenance managers, mechanics, technicians, receptionists and human resources assistants. Company leaders will partner with local community colleges and trade schools to provide real-word work experience and positions for students pursuing careers in industrial, electrical and robotic engineering.
Hiring is expected to begin in March 2024 and an initial job fair will be held on Dec. 16, 2023 (location to be confirmed) for early hires and training. Additional hiring information, including details on upcoming job fairs, will be available at StellarSnacks.com/louisville.
“We are thrilled to share that our business has seen astronomical growth after launching our brand in 2021, thanks to our people, passion and exquisite product. Since then, we have been on a mission to expand production coast to coast,” said Elisabeth Galvin, co-founder of Stellar Snacks. “We are proud to announce that we have selected Louisville as our home in the Midwest. The outcome will be an important success story for our team and the people of the great state of Kentucky. We can’t emphasize enough that our goal is to provide career opportunities and positive impact in Louisville, especially in our neighborhood so we can flourish together in the years to come.”
“When my mom and I landed in Louisville, something finally clicked – it felt like destiny,” added Gina Galvin, co-founder of Stellar Snacks. “Beyond our passion for baking delicious, high-quality snacks, we believe every pretzel has a purpose. That’s why we commission emerging artists to design one-of-a-kind artwork for our bags and engage with the arts community to inspire creativity in the world around us. The energy of the kind-hearted, driven people in Louisville and the creativity flowing through this historic city align perfectly with our values. We truly look forward to growing with this community.”
Founded in 2019 by mother-daughter duo, Elisabeth and Gina Galvin, Stellar Snacks bakes pretzels and roasts nuts. The company currently operates two plants in Northern Nevada, where it employs more than 170 people. Stellar Snacks is certified woman-owned by the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC). It distributes products to more than 5,000 grocery and retail stores nationwide with products also sold online and offered during in-flight snack service on Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and American Airlines. Stellar products include pretzel braids in four gourmet flavors – Simply Stellar, Maui Monk, Bold & Herby and Sweet & Sparky – with new flavors and product innovation coming in early 2024.
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said the company’s presence builds on what the community stands for: “I am thrilled to celebrate Stellar Snacks’ decision to locate in West Louisville. This is a major announcement for the community, adding more than 300 quality jobs with a $137 million investment in one of our most underserved areas. Stellar Snacks is a company that shares our values of innovation, sustainability and diversity, and we are honored to welcome them to our city. I want to thank Gov. Andy Beshear, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and our economic development team at Louisville Metro Government for their hard work and collaboration in making this come to fruition. Together, we are building a brighter future for Louisville.”
Leaders at Stellar Snacks have expressed a dedication to community involvement, environmental stewardship, social responsibility and advocacy, including support of emerging artists from around the globe to design artwork for the company's packaging. Initiatives include sponsorship and support of events that empower women, social good, music, fashion and art, from Women in Tech to Female DJs to Women in Professional Sports, as well as educational programs, local art shows, music festivals and more.
Stellar Snacks’ investment and job creation builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.
Last week, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for September 2023 totaled over $1 billion, marking the 13th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history.
The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced nearly 900 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.5 billion in announced investments, creating 48,000 jobs. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. In April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduced its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.
Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings. Recently, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.
Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
For more information on Stellar Snacks, visit StellarSnacks.com/louisville.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed here.