Published in Food/Agribusiness
La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ production facility in Norton Shores. La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ production facility in Norton Shores. COURTESY PHOTO

Norton Shores coffee producer among West Mich. agriculture expansion grant recipients

BY Wednesday, May 18, 2022 06:32pm

State agriculture officials have announced $200,000 in grant funding to support a Norton Shores coffee producer’s expansion that would create the largest cold brew production facility in the United States.

La Colombe Coffee Roasters, a coffee roaster founded in 1994 in Philadelphia, Pa., known for its ready-to-drink canned lattes, purchased a production plant in Norton Shores in 2016. The company plans a two-part expansion to create a high-speed bottling line as well as introduce cold brewing manufacturing at the facility. 

The cold brewing component would create the largest cold brewing producing facility in the U.S., according to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) officials.

“We are very proud to be producing our iconic cold brew and revolutionary canned lattes in Norton Shores,” La Colombe Chief Operating Officer Matt Sunderland said in an emailed statement to MiBiz. “It’s in part because of the support from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development that La Colombe can continue to build out our facilities to meet the growing demand for our cold brew products.”

La Colombe is one of five West Michigan food producers receiving a total of $630,000 in grant funding announced today by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. The funding will support food production expansions in Traverse City, Paw Paw, Lowell and Zeeland, in addition to Norton Shores.

“When we make investments in local businesses, we’re investing in the future of our agricultural industry in Michigan,” MDARD Director Gary McDowell said in a statement. “These five businesses will now be able to increase production, provide good-paying jobs for Michiganders and help to ensure that ‘Made in Michigan’ is known and respected around the globe.”

Lowell-based King Milling Co. received the largest grant among the five companies, landing $250,000 to build a new flour mill with increased capacity and hire six new employees. The fifth-generation, family-owned wheat supplier was founded in 1890 and is undergoing the largest expansion in company history.

“It is a long term investment that will provide benefits to Michigan’s agriculture and food processing sectors for many years to come,” King Milling President Brian Doyle said in a statement.

Other grant recipients include:

  • Townline Poultry Farm Inc. in Zeeland, which received $75,000 to support a 13,000-square-foot expansion for new high-tech, energy-efficient incubation equipment as well as new packing and shipping areas and a loading dock. The expansion is expected to create six jobs. The fourth-generation, family-owned company was founded as a cow farm in 1913 by Jacob and Ada Geerlings.
  • Wine Chips Inc., which is headquartered near Los Angeles but will operate a production facility in Paw Paw, received $65,000 to grow production at a vacant Downey Potato Chip facility. Founded in 2017 by tech entrepreneurs Jonathan Strietzel and Jon Kraft, Wine Chips produce gourmet potato chips that are designed to be paired with wine.
  • Traverse City-based Great Lakes Malting Co., which supplies various malted grains to the brewing and distilling sectors across the Midwest, received $40,000 to support an expansion that will double production capacity to meet growing demand.

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