Illinois food product company to open in former Dawn Foods in Crown Point
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent June 7, 2013 6:12PM
Updated: July 9, 2013 6:14AM
CROWN POINT — Van Drunen Foods will be opening its newest dried and dehydrated food processing plant at the site of the former Dawn Food Products building at 1300 E. Summit St.
The Momence, Ill.,-based international food processing manufacturer came before the Crown Point City Council Monday to seek a resolution designating the property as an economic revitalization area so it could begin the process of seeking a personal property tax abatement on the approximately $5 million in equipment that will be needed.
Matt Evers, facility operations manager for Van Drunen, said the company purchased the building this spring and is in the early stages of developing its newest food processing site. Currently Van Drunen operates processing plants in Illinois, Wisconsin and Europe.
“We are extremely excited to be expanding into the Crown Point community,” Evers said. The project, once complete is expected to create 26 new full-time jobs with benefits.
According to the company website, Van Drunen Farms is a grower and primary processor of culinary, all-natural and functional food ingredients.
Evers said the products the company makes are not sold directly to the public but can be found in myriad products on grocery store shelves including dry products such as soups and mixes, candies and confections, baby foods and breakfast cereals, and more.
The company operates 1,200 acres of farmland, 500 organic and 700 conventional. Van Drunen also is the largest supplier of organically grown culinary herbs in the country, the website states.
Adam Decker, attorney for Van Drunen, said Monday’s action by the city council to approve the resolution begins the process for qualifying for the seven-year tax abatement. The company will come before the council again in July for a public hearing on the matter and final consideration.
Evers said the project is still in the early stages and a timeline for completion has not been established.