- Flexible food manufacturer producing raw and fully-cooked products for North America's largest food brands
- Headquartered in Washington Court House, with six locations, including four in Ohio
- Nearly 1,700 employees in the U.S.
- $600 million in annual sales
- Reinvested more than $42 million in Washington Court House
You can smell the sweet scent of success—and bacon—coming from SugarCreek all the way from U.S. Route 35. The successful food manufacturing company works with several of North America's largest food companies to package and distribute their pork bacon, turkey bacon and bacon bits from its Washington Court House location to grocery stores and foodservice suppliers throughout the country.
SugarCreek was founded in Washington Court House, located in Fayette County, Ohio, in 1966 by John S. Richardson. Fifty years ago it was a 15,000-square-foot facility. Since that time, the Washington Court House location has grown to close to 100,000 square feet in total space. In the past 16 years alone, the private company has grown employment by more than 26 percent to nearly 1,700 employees. In that same time period sales have more than doubled and SugarCreek has reinvested more than $42 million in capital back into Washington Court House.
Location key to success in food processing distribution
While the company has expanded to 6 total locations, including 3 others in Ohio, the growth of the original location in Washington Court House, as well as the support and cooperation it receives there from economic development officials, as well as utility companies, has been crucial in helping to encourage SugarCreek’s success.
Tom Bollinger, Chief Financial Offier for SugarCreek, said SugarCreek is close to being a $600 million company, but he is predicting growth to hit $1 billion within three to four years.
Bollinger said the cooperation the company has received from its partners throughout the city, county, state and utility companies has been critical in helping to drive that growth.
West Central Ohio community collaboration
“When you look at a community where you are going to put a presence, you want to be comfortable that you have a working partnership with that community,” Bollinger said. “That is critical. We’ve seen it in other communities we’ve been in. We’ve seen where that has worked very well, and we’ve seen issues where it hasn’t worked so well.”
Bollinger said the cooperation helps tremendously when SugarCreek does encounter issues.
Collaboration helps in expediting a solution,” he said. “If we have a challenge with city services or county services, it’s the matter of a phone call, and let’s work out a fair and equitable solution for all parties. It’s not one-sided like you see in some communities.”
How all those soft assets work together also is very important, Bollinger added. “It’s one thing to be able to call the city, but if I am getting pushback from the utility company it doesn’t work. It all has to work in concert together.”
But Bollinger said the West Central Ohio development partners work together well. For example, SugarCreek has received close to $100,000 in incentives from Dayton Power & Light to implement more energy efficient equipment throughout the factory.
“Rebates have helped us convert to newer, greener technology,” Bollinger said. “It also helps DP&L in keeping demand down. It helps us in reducing our usage, but also provides better lighting or more efficient motors as well. Efficiency rebates certainly help us make some improvements that otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten done.”
SugarCreek repays the support by continuing to grow and invest in the region.
“We work hard to be a good corporate citizen by working with cities and county governments. So we’re taking care of them as they are taking care of us,” he said.
The presence of all the businesses in Washington Court House lend credence to the fact that there is a recipe for success throughout the region, Bollinger said.
“There’s a good labor pool, and a good partnership locally,” he said. “Otherwise you wouldn’t see the number of businesses that you do. You wouldn’t see the growth that has occurred.”
Bollinger said that’s exactly what keeps SugarCreek thriving.
“We’ve been in this community for 50 years now. We have no intention of leaving, and I don’t think they want us to leave.”
Certified sites in Fayette County, Ohio: