Kentucky business revives plan for expansion, adds jobs after COVID delay


After pausing an expansion project a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a manufacturer of salad dressings and other sauces has announced plans to not only revive those plans but add to it as well, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced earlier this week.

The decision by T. Marzetti Co. means it will now spend $133 million, $40 million more than it initially planned, for the project at its Horse Cave plant in south-central Kentucky. According to a news release from Beshear’s office, that represents the largest corporate expansion in the company’s history.

Last year, the company planned to create 140 jobs. With the new investment, that total will become 220, a 57% increase. In all, the company plans a nearly 185,000-square-foot expansion. Besides manufacturing space, the company will add eight processing kitchens and numerous packaging lines.

“This expansion builds on the partnership that we have enjoyed with the people of Kentucky since our parent company built our first facility here in 2005,” said Chief Supply Chain Officer Dave Nagle in the release.

Nagle added the company will partner with Kentucky-based engineering and construction firms on expansion project.

Lancaster Colony, Marzetti’s parent company, also operates a Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls plant in the Hart County community 80 miles south of Louisville. Over the years, Lancaster Colony has invested more than $313 million and created nearly 800 jobs in the community.

“Every dollar invested here will have a positive ripple effect across our local economy as it recirculates through other local businesses and also helps fund our schools, police, fire and other community services,” said John Bunnell, chairman of the Hart County Industrial Authority.

Horse Cave Mayor Randall Curry added that the company has played an vital role in the growth of the community.

Last year, when the initial project was announced, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for up to $2.8 million in incentives. That 10-year package was based on last year’s investment and job totals.

According to the release, the incentive package calls for the new jobs to pay an average wage of $25.72 an hour, benefits included.

Work has started on the project and is expected to be finished by July 2022.

“As we work to build back our economy and ensure a brighter future for Kentuckians, the same can be said of companies like T. Marzetti Co… I’m glad Marzetti will represent an even greater part of Kentucky’s future, and I thank the company’s leadership for their commitment to the commonwealth,” Beshear said in the statement.

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