New facility will create 245 jobs, draw $67.7 million in capital investment
MADISON, WI. MARCH 3, 2021 – Stella & Chewy’s LLC, a premium natural pet food company, is expanding its facility in Oak Creek—a $67.7 million project expected to create 245 jobs over the next three years.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supporting the project by authorizing up to $2 million in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Stella & Chewy’s will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created.
“This investment will enable Stella & Chewy’s to position itself for continued growth and success, and at the same time, create jobs in Milwaukee County,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “Companies have a choice when deciding to expand, and the decision by Stella & Chewy’s to establish another facility in Oak Creek is a testament to Wisconsin’s strong business climate and dedicated workforce.”
The company is planning the construction of a new manufacturing facility adjacent to its current facility that will include approximately $65 million in new equipment. Approximately $15 million to $20 million of this equipment will be purchased from local Wisconsin vendors.
In order to meet the operational demand, Stella & Chewy’s expects to hire approximately 245 employees; the company will require mostly manufacturing personnel to support its production and growth.
“Stella & Chewy’s has expanded our sales and product offerings over the past few years and we expect the growth to continue,” said CEO Marc Hill. “In order to meet projected product demand, the company will expand our current production footprint by approximately 140,000 additional square feet to support growing demand. We welcome and appreciate the support we’ve received from WEDC and are looking forward to bringing the additional employment opportunities to the area.”
This increased space will mainly consist of production operations, including proprietary processing technology and additional office space for production and corporate personnel, as well as more storage for raw materials.
“As the representative from this district, I look forward to seeing this growth by Stella & Chewy’s,” said state Rep. Jessie Rodriguez. “I am hopeful that this tax credit program will promote significant economic development in our community. Stella & Chewy’s has been an important job creator in the area for the past several years, and it’s encouraging to see them recommit to Oak Creek with their plans to expand their facility and create more jobs for the local community. Just last year, Stella & Chewy’s was named a Top Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I look forward to seeing them continue to grow their workforce in the coming years.”
“It’s been a ’ruff‘ year for our economy due to COVID-19, but one thing that has brought our neighbors great comfort is the companionship of their furry friends,” said state Sen. Chris Larson. “By investing in Oak Creek and supporting our local workforce, Stella & Chewy’s has proven that their bark is as good as their bite-sized puppy treats.”
Stella & Chewy’s LLC is an Oak Creek–based company that was founded by Marie Moody in 2003. Moody started the business after seeing her sick, adopted dog Chewy’s health improve after feeding him a raw, natural diet. The business has grown from her kitchen to become one of the leading manufacturers of premium raw freeze-dried and raw frozen food for dogs and cats. The company offers dinners made with grass-fed beef, cage-free poultry and wild-caught fish along with organic fruits and vegetables. All the company’s food has no hormones or antibiotics and no grains, is gluten-free, and contains no artificial preservatives. The company’s products are manufactured in the U.S. at their facility in Oak Creek and are sold at more than 6,000 neighborhood pet stores in the U.S. and Canada.