COLUMBUS, IN. — A beverage production company based in southern California announced Tuesday its plans to open a midwest headquarters and production facility in Columbus. The new facility will create up to 111 new jobs in Bartholomew County.
Ninth Avenue Foods plans to invest around $103 million to build a 260,000-square-foot dairy and plant-based beverage manufacturing facility on the south side of Columbus, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Near the intersection of 175 W and Deaver Rd., the facility will be equipped with seven filling lines, serve as Ninth Avenue's "Midwest headquarters," and enable a national customer reach.
“After searching many locations in multiple states, Columbus, Indiana, was chosen as the perfect fit for our growing company,” Ted DeGroot, Ninth Avenue Foods' chief operating officer, stated in the announcement. “We wanted to expand to the Midwest, and for many reasons, Indiana and specifically Columbus, stood out. Friendly people, a growing community and high-quality workforce were all factors in our decision. We are excited to become a part of this vibrant and welcoming, family-friendly community and look forward to opportunities for expansion and growth.”
Through the combination of high temperature and an ultra-clean filling environment at Columbus' new "state-of-the-art facility," Ninth Avenue says it can extend the shelf-life of its dairy products while maintaining the nutritional benefits.
Specialties such as Ninth Avenue's is something AgriNovus Indiana — an organization dedicated to promoting and accelerating the growth of the biosciences community — has been working to expand to the Hoosier state.
“Innovation in food and nutrition are essential to Indiana’s agbioscience economy and the broader food supply chain – especially post pandemic,” said Mitch Frazier, president and chief executive officer of AgriNovus Indiana. “Ninth Avenue Foods is an innovator that is positioned to thrive as part of Indiana’s growing $29 billion value-added food and nutrition industry.”
According to IEDC, Indiana's dairy industry is continuing to grow. Through the "Indiana Dairy Strategy 2.0" the state is focused on adding processing capacity, fostering product innovation and leveraging the state's infrastructure, agriculture, and transportation labor.
"Indiana's central location, strong agriculture sector and business-friendly climate make the Hoosier State the ideal spot for dairy processors," said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. "Companies like Ninth Avenue Foods are the reason Indiana is home to a thriving, cutting-edge dairy industry, and we look forward to the company's continued growth as we work to create new careers and support Indiana farmers.”
Ninth Avenue will be hiring for warehouse, production, maintenance and instrument control technicians, quality technicians and administrative positions beginning March 2022. Open positions will be posted on ninthavenuefoods.com.