JOPLIN, MO. — HS Baking Enterprises, an Indianapolis-based contract baker, will invest more than $8 million over the next five years to turn a former General Mills facility in Joplin into its new flagship bakery.
HS Baking said it will begin renovations over the next few months to build and install a new manufacturing line to produce a line of snack and cracker products. Initially, the expansion will create 60 new jobs, but the company believes it could approach 120 jobs within a year.
“Our whole team is excited to come to Joplin and kick the factory into high gear with the help of members of the Joplin community,” said Max Jones, plant manager for HS Baking.
General Mills, which operated the snack products facility since 2014, shut the plant late last year. The company acquired the plant as part of its acquisition of natural and organic food company Annie’s, Inc. in 2014. Annie’s acquired the Joplin snack manufacturing plant from Safeway for $6 million plus the cost of inventory and supplies on hand at closing. The plant was Annie’s primary manufacturer of cookie and cracker products since the inception of the company’s snacks business in 2002.“This facility has a nearly 70-year history of baking quality products, and it is wonderful to see it coming back into operation so quickly after it was shut down,” said Mike Seibert, mayor of Joplin. “We appreciate HS Baking for its investment in Joplin and for its sincere recognition of the proud history of this facility and its people.”