Natural pet food pioneer Freshpet is set to break ground on a new facility it calls “Kitchen 3.0” in Ennis next week. The facility, which will be built in two phases about 40 miles south of Dallas, will take the pubicly traded company’s “total capacity to about $1.3 billion” once it’s fully operational, according to Seeking Alpha, an online financial site.
Freshpet has said it expects the facility to be operational by the third quarter of 2022.
The company has an eye on continued growth. Freshpet plans to spend “around $575 million between 2021 and 2025” on new kitchens, the publication said.
In Ennis, the fridge-fresh pet food maker will invest over $264 million to build its new facility, creating 427 new jobs at full capacity, it said earlier this year. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said the company would receive $2.1 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.
Freshpet is credited for creating the fresh, refrigerated pet food segment in the U.S. “Like a growing number of pet parents, we believe that our dogs and cats are our family, and they deserve fresh, healthy food to help them live their best lives,” said Billy Cyr, the company’s CEO.
The Ennis location is Freshpet’s third kitchen. Cyr said the city is the “perfect location to help us drive new innovation while making our food in a way that’s best for pets, people, and the planet.”
Cyr wanted the home of its new kitchen to be a place that the company would be proud to have its employees live and work. “Ennis blew us away with the compelling vision of their leadership, the ongoing investments they have made to their infrastructure, and the availability of top-notch talent to support our growth,” he said.
The company said the new kitchen will help meet its rapidly growing demand. Freshpet said in February it’s had eight consecutive quarters of at least 20 percent growth.” Last year, the company broke ground on its second kitchen at the company’s campus in Bethlehem, PA, it said.
That expansion will take the company’s capacity to more than $500 million, and the new facility in Ennis, TX will take the total capacity more than $1 billion when it’s completely built out, according to the company. Freshpet says it’s “nearly doubled its business every three years since 2009,” with more than “three million households feeding Freshpet today,” according to a statement earlier this year.
Freshpet has announced Boldt Company, based in Oklahoma City, as its building partner for the 420,000-square-foot pet food manufacturing facility, according to the Ennis News.
In addition to making healthy food for pets, Freshpet Kitchens also wants to protect the planet. Its landfill-free facilities use 100 percent wind energy, the company said.
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