Denver food distributor and bakery operator sets up in Kansas

by Laurie Gorton
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DENVER — Mile Hi Specialty Foods, a division of a Denver-based family owned and operated distributor of food service products, plans to open an office at Shawnee, Kas.

Plans call for a $6 million investment in the city’s WestLink Business Center, making Mile Hi the first occupant of the new 1.1 million-square-foot development. The move is supported by a $30,500 loan from the Shawnee Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Program, funded by the city through impact fees paid by the local landfill company. The loan will be partially forgiven as job creation targets are met.

The parent company, Mile Hi Foods, is a longtime supplier to McDonald’s Corp. of buns, foodstuffs and other supplies. In 1998, it established Mile High Specialty Foods to serve additional brands, which now include Starbucks, Chipotle, Boston Market, Noodles & Company, Einstein’s Bagels and Quizno’s. Opening a Kansas location enlarges its service area beyond the company’s base in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Mile Hi became the fourth company to receive such an incentive package from the city of Lenexa. The program, created in 2012, is unique among similar offerings because it is based on payroll rather than the number of jobs created. To qualify, companies must project that at least 10 new full-time jobs will be created with a combined average salary that exceeds the minimum average salary in the county.
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