Café Valley Selects Marion for New Facility

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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An economic development project started in July 2012 is coming to fruition after a series of conversations and visits between Marion and Café Valley Inc., a baked goods supplier based in Phoenix, Arizona. Pending receipt of the necessary New Markets Tax Credits and the finalization of other aspects of financing, Café Valley will undertake a multi-million dollar construction project leading to a new facility in Marion. The exact amount of initial investment in Marion is still being determined.

"Our business has grown to the point of needing a physical presence to better serve the Midwestern and Eastern United States," said Ron Ogan, president and CEO of Café Valley Inc. "We looked in three states and we are pleased to have found the right location in Marion, IN."

Formed in 1985, Café Valley Inc. supplies baked goods to customers throughout the United States as well as approximately 50 countries around the world. The company currently occupies a nearly 300,000 square foot facility in Phoenix, Arizona and employs hundreds of workers. The initial workforce at the new Marion location, Café Valley East, is expected to exceed 100 employees. Over the course of the first five years of operation in Marion, the company anticipates significant employment growth and substantial reinvestment in its workforce, facility, and food processing equipment.

Café Valley Inc. is focused on approximately twenty acres of land in the southern portion of the former Thompson Consumer Electronics site on the northeast corner of South Adams and 38th Streets in Marion. The new facility would utilize approximately one-third of the former Thompson campus. This pending project is viewed as a strong catalyst that could lead to additional redevelopment and utilization of the campus.

Mayor Wayne Seybold expressed his excitement for the investment and redevelopment this project entails. "Not only are we excited about the jobs this project will bring, but about the redevelopment of Marion facilities such as the Thompson facility," remarked Seybold, "We'll be taking a redevelopment project that's been in the works for nine years and transforming it into something amazing for the community. Instead of looking at the old Thompson site and saying 'Remember when,' the community will see it and think, 'Wow. We're moving forward.' This is a sweet deal for Marion."

Over the past five months, the City of Marion, the Grant County Economic Growth Council, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation have worked with Café Valley and CME Corporation to turn this vision into reality.


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Pictured: Larry Polhill (Café Valley), Governor Mitch Daniels, Mayor Wayne Seybold, Tim Eckerle (Growth Council), Don Bachelor (Marion City Council), Rob Young (CME Corporation)

Café Valley Inc. first contacted the Grant County Economic Growth Council in search of a location for its new facility in July 2012. In August the Growth Council, in collaboration with the City of Marion, introduced company leaders to the Marion community. Among the various locations visited, Indiana Wesleyan University played a significant role in marketing Marion, as Café Valley's president and CEO is familiar with IWU and Taylor University. President Henry Smith hosted a breakfast for the Café Valley visitors in November.

"It was our privilege and delight to host Cafe Valley Inc. CEO Ron Ogan and his team on the IWU campus when they were trying to decide where to expand their business," said President Smith, "I was very impressed with their energy, commitment to excellence and vision. I knew they would fit wonderfully into our community. IWU is thrilled to have them as one of our closest neighbors in South Marion."

Throughout the process, Fort Wayne, Indiana-based CME Corporation has served as site selection consultant for Café Valley Inc. Together with its client, CME Corporation considered approximately 50 sites across three states at the outset of this engagement. Marion emerged as the top site in late November 2012.

"It has been a pleasure to work with the City of Marion, the Grant County Economic Growth Council, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation on this project," said Rob Young, Business Development Manager for CME Corporation. "While there is still work to be done - such as attraction of New Markets Tax Credits for the project - I am confident everything at the local and state level will come together as discussed to date, and the result will be a tremendous redevelopment project in the heart of Marion, Indiana."

Conversations and preparations will continue as the project moves forward in 2013.