A producer and distributor of artisanal peanut butter has opened its new production facility in northwest Indiana. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Portage-based BNutty is investing nearly $2 million to lease, renovate and equip the facility inside the AmeriPlex at the Port business park and create up to 100 jobs by 2021.
The company says it had outgrown its former 2,500-square-foot facility. The new, 16,000-square-foot production center will allow BNutty to enhance its distribution and co-packaging operations, as well as meet the growing demand for its products, according to the IEDC.
"The northwest Indiana community has been supportive of BNutty since we first introduced our products," said Carol Podolak, co-owner of BNutty. "We love the region, and the opportunities for new business are endless here. Northwest Indiana has everything that a small business needs to succeed, including support from local and state government, organizations designed to promote small business growth, and easy access to a major city, airport and talented workforce. We’re deeply involved with our community and couldn’t imagine growing anywhere else."
BNutty was founded in 2014 by Joy Thompkins, who originally started the company in an effort to raise money for her local youth soccer club. Podolak would come on board later to help with sales and marketing. The company offers its all-natural peanut butter products in more than a dozen flavors, which are sold in specialty stores and shops throughout northwest Indiana and Illinois, as well as retailers including Walmart and QVC.
The IEDC is offering BNutty up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The company currently employs 15 full-time workers and is hiring for production and marketing positions, as well as an administrative assistant and a logistics and warehouse manager.
Portage Mayor John Cannon says the expansion will have a lasting positive impact on the city and region. "We’re excited to celebrate BNutty’s new facility, and look forward to witnessing their continued success as they produce nationally-recognized peanut butter in northwest Indiana with the help of our talented workforce."