Planterra Foods is setting up shop in the old Sharonville Processing plant and bringing 150 jobs to West Chester Twp.
The Colorado-based company specializes in plant-based foods and is retrofitting a 26,629-square-foot facility at 113 Circle Freeway Drive.
“We’re all about bringing new plant-based proteins to the table,” said Darcey Macken, CEO of Planterra Foods, in a township newsletter. “Something that works for everyone.”
Planterra Foods is marketed under the name OZO and can be found in retail stores and restaurants. Officials say their product focuses on flavor with food high in protein and fewer calories and less saturated fat than many other meat substitutes. They plan to produce several million pounds of food each year.
“We’ll be expanding manufacturing of the OZO line at the West Chester plant and will be looking for a team of great employees in the coming weeks,” Macken said in the newsletter article. “When the opportunity for the space became available we were really happy with the proximity to Kroger. It all just came together for us and we’re ready to get started.”
Community Development Director Aaron Wiegand said it is exciting to see the new location coming online and bringing jobs. It was just happenstance West Chester was the chosen location for the out-of-town company.
“A lot of people think that there is always a science to what companies locate where,” Wiegand said. “Sometimes it just so happens that there is a building that is available and the company wants it, and that’s literally it, there is no secret sauce.”
He said the former meat packing plant — even though they are a meat-less product — met their needs because they were looking for a Midwest location and are interested in cultivating a relationship with Kroger.
The company’s food is made from a pea-based recipe, rather than soy and a shitake mushroom formula that provides a protein alternative they say is healthier and better for the environment.
The business opened October 2019 in Layfayette, Colorado and quickly became a subsidiary of meat giant JBS USA Food Company.
Planterra bought the old plant for $1.1 million last October, according to the Butler County Auditor’s website.
“They are making significant interior improvements to fit their process,” Wiegand said. “It’s not just a plug-and-play type situation. They’ve got a lot of things to put in to make their process work for the facility.”
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