Connecticut-based Blue Buffalo Pet Products (Nasdaq: BUFF) has big plans in Wayne County. The company says it will invest more than $100 million to build a production and distribution facility in Richmond and create up to 165 jobs. The facility, which will be Blue Buffalo’s second in the United States, will also include a research and development center. Mayor Dave Snow says, with the announcement, "Richmond has secured its place on the national map for economic development."
Blue Buffalo and its subsidiary Heartland Pet Food make natural cat and dog food and treats, which are sold nationwide. The company says it will hire general management, food quality assurance and food processing associates. It plans to break ground later this year.
Blue Buffalo founder Bill Bishop says the announcement marks "a very big day" for the company. In a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., he said "We expect to further increase our internal production capacity and now will have two of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the pet food industry. Additionally, we plan to open a state-of-the-art R&D facility on our premises. We are also very proud of our plan to create over 160 full-time jobs and look forward to being an upstanding partner in the Richmond community."
The IEDC offered Blue Buffalo more than $1.6 million in conditional tax credits based on the job creation plans. Wayne County and the city of Richmond have also approved incentives.
The project adds to Indiana’s tally of new manufacturing jobs in recent years. The IEDC says, since 2013, the state has added around 32,000 manufacturing jobs.