Published in Breaking News

Frankfort dried fruit producer to expand into Wisconsin processing facility

BY MiBiz Staff Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:40am

A Frankfort, Mich-based dried fruit producer is moving into a new processing plant in Warrens, Wisc.

Graceland Fruit Inc., a seller of dried blueberries, cranberries and cherries to customers in the U.S., is expanding into a 50,000-square-foot processing Wisconsin facility after entering an alliance with Wisconsin-based fruit cooperative Cranberry Growers Cooperative (CranGrow).

The deal will allow the company to increase its manufacturing capacity by approximately 30 percent. In addition to the expansion, Graceland Fruit will retain CranGrow’s 61 employees at its Wisconsin facility.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“We have established invaluable relationships in the marketplace, as well as a strong sales force that has resulted in demand outpacing our current manufacturing capacity,” Graceland Fruit CEO Al DeVore said in a statement. “In 2017, CranGrow opened a new, modern production facility, and will benefit from a more established market. So, it made sense to work together to meet mutual goals.”

According to a release, Graceland Fruit purchases Wisconsin cranberries from CranGrow for its Frankfort facilities. As a part of the deal, CranGrow will remain a supplier to Graceland Fruit.

DeVore said the company’s research and development and technical quality staffs are already working in the Wisconsin facility “to assist the team in implementing Graceland Fruit’s rigorous standards — ensuring that the new facility produces the consistent quality customers have come to expect from Graceland Fruit products.”

Prior to the alliance, CranGrow opened the Warrens facility in 2016 for $20 million before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017, according to a story from The Tomah Journal.

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