Hearthside investing $10.7M, adding 91 Grand Rapids jobs

mibizJune 24, 2015 – MiBiz – Downers Grove, IL -based food processor Hearthside Food Solutions LLC intends to invest $10.7 million and add 91 jobs over three years at its Kentwood facility on 32nd Street.

The contract manufacturer and bakery plans to invest in both building renovations, equipment and capacity to meet customer demand, according to a statement from Grand Rapids-based economic development agency The Right Place Inc. Hearthside is the largest contract food manufacturer in North America.

The company was awarded a $450,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program, administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“West Michigan continues to be part of Hearthside’s long-term strategy of providing superior independent baking services for the world’s premier consumer brands,” said Matthew Sagendorf, vice president of engineering at Hearthside in the statement.

Hearthside operates 19 facilities in seven states and has four in the Grand Rapids area. In 2014 the company was acquired by the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Vestar Capital Partners Inc.

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Hearthside investing, expanding Grand Rapids operations


June 24, 2015 – Grand Rapids MI – Grand Rapids  Business Journal – A maker of baked goods and snacks is planning a $10.7-million expansion in the area that’s expected to create at least 91 jobs.

Hearthside Food Solutions in Downers Grove, Ill., a contract food maker, plans to expand its facility in Kentwood, at 3225 32nd St. SE, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit, today.

Expansion project

Hearthside Food Solutions will invest in building renovations and equipment over the next three years. The expansion will address the need for more capacity due to continued customer demand.

West Michigan “continues to be part of Hearthside’s long-term strategy” of providing services for “the world’s premier consumer brands,” said Matthew Sagendorf, VP of engineering, Hearthside Food Solutions. Hearthside has four facilities in metro Grand Rapids and additional operations located throughout the Midwest and East Coast.

Megan Sall, business development manager at The Right Place, said the investment and expansion project was as much a business-retention project as it was an expansion initiative. “West Michigan’s food processing industry is one of the strongest in the Midwest, and we are pleased that Hearthside will continue its growth story in the region,” Sall said.

Site selection

During the process of deciding where the Illinois-based company should expand, The Right Place collaborated with Minneapolis-based Hickey & Associates, which serves as Hearthside’s site selection agency.

John Kerr, associate at Hickey & Associates, said the expansion project was “very competitive,” and there were “a variety of opportunities” for Hearthside.

Kerr said The Right Place provided an “excellent” level of prompt service and support throughout the process, “ensuring the Hearthside team had all the information they needed to make the best decision for their company.”


Hearthside was approved for a $450,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program to support its expansion in Kentwood.

Stephen Kepley, mayor of the city of Kentwood, said the city recognizes businesses have many options for expansion and appreciates Hearthside’s decision to keep jobs in the area.

“We are happy to be a partner in its success,” Kepley said.


Hearthside Food Solutions, established in 2009, includes a network of 19 production facilities in seven states, with more than 7,500 full-time employees. In 2014, the company was acquired by Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners.

For the full story, click here.

Hearthside F4SS Outsourcing Excellence Award Recipient

f4ss-hfs-gmi-awardAwarded for Collaborative R&D New Product Development.

Hearthside Food Solutions and General Mills were presented with a 2015 F4SS Outsourcing Excellence Award. The awards, presented at the recent F4SS CONNECT Conference in San Diego, showcase outstanding collaboration between CPG companies and suppliers. F4SS (Foundation for Strategic Sourcing) membership consists of leading CPG companies, contract manufacturers, and contract packagers.

Both Hearthside and General Mills earned the award based on an actual case study submitted to F4SS by General Mills. It was one of five case studies recognized by F4SS.  The submitted case study (available for download at the F4SS website) focused on R&D collaboration and new product innovation between Hearthside Foods and General Mills.

Bob Scalia, Sr. VP of strategy and Brian McNamara, VP sales & marketing of Hearthside Foods, and Al Rodrigues, director of external supply chain innovation for General Mills were on hand to accept the Outsourcing Excellence awards for their respective companies. The awards were presented by Steve Weinstein, Sr. Director of Global Supply Chain for Johnson & Johnson, and current F4SS Chairman.

Video of Al Rodrigues describing the case study which resulted in the Outsourcing Excellence award.

“Simply being a highly competent contract manufacturer is no longer enough.” said Bob Scalia following the award. “Our customers are demanding innovation. By working with their teams we can deliver 360 degree innovation, finding new ways to add value, lower costs, and help them gain a competitive advantage at retail.”

Hearthside and General Mills are active members of F4SS (Foundation for Strategic Sourcing). F4SS membership is open to all CPG companies, contract manufacturers, and contact packagers. F4SS is where leading CPG companies and contract manufacturers collaborate. More information on F4SS can be found on their website www.f4ss.org 


Investing in Front Line Leadership



The following story, published in Baking Business on January 20, 2015, quotes several CEOs, including Rich Scalise of Hearthside Foods. The story speaks to the value companies place, or should place, on training their front line leadership. For Hearthside, a contact manufacturer, it is an essential.

Commenting on the story, Rich Scalise added, “My quote [in the story] speaks to several specific roles. In fact all our front line leaders contribute to our success. Their input is constantly sought. It enables us to move quickly to correct issues or take advantage of new opportunities for productivity savings or quality improvements. Our front line leaders enable us to deliver on our promise to be faster and more flexible while adding more value for customers.”

To read the full story in Baking Business, click here.



Rich Scalise on Hearthside and Industry: IBIE Floor Interview

logo-only-4cAt last year’s IBIE in Las Vegas Rich Scalise sat down with Josh Sosland of Baking & Snack and Food Industry News for a one-on-one interview. Topics included the state of the baking industry and Hearthside’s growth. Rich Scalise is the current Chairman of the American Bakers Association, as well as the founder and Chairman of Hearthside Food Solutions.

The interview was conducted during the 2013 IBIE Exposition in Las Vegas and was published by Sosland Publishing in June of this year.

For more on Sosland Publishing, please visit their website at: http://www.sosland.com/