The third-generation family company aims to buy, renovate and equip a 26,000-square-foot facility at 9885 W. State Road 67 in Redkey to house its smoked meat processing operations. The facility has been idle since early 2016 and is currently undergoing electrical and mechanical updates before Fisher Meats launches full operations there later this month (February 2017).
The firm’s Jay County growth would also include renovations at its existing facility in Portland, which focuses on fresh meat processing, Fisher Meats announced.
The business, which was founded in 1945, said rising interest in farm-to-table initiatives and the growth of its distribution area was driving up demand for its locally-made meat products. To support that expansion, it aims to advertise additional positions throughout the year.
“We are very fortunate to live and work in an area that appreciates locally-produced, quality food products and for some time we have been looking for opportunities to expand our operations in the nearby geographic area,” said Mike Fisher, co-owner of Fisher Meats.
“Indiana has many programs, such as the Indiana Grown initiative, in which we participate, that support small businesses as well as the local agricultural community. After considering all of the options, it was clear that Indiana was the best place for us to continue to grow.”
Fisher Meats has been recognized locally and nationally for product excellence, having received awards from both the Indiana Meat Packers and Processors Association and the American Association of Meat Processors. In 2016, Fisher Meats was also recognized internationally, receiving multiple gold medals for product quality at IFFA, the leading international trade fair in the meat industry.
Tax credit help
Indiana secretary of commerce Jim Schellinger commented: “... Indiana offers homegrown companies like Fisher Meats a pro-growth, affordable business climate and a skilled Hoosier workforce.”
Doug Stanley, member of the local Redkey Town Council, said: “Redkey is happy to welcome Fisher Meats to our community. Recently, the former tenant of the facility at Redkey’s industrial park announced they would be leaving. Fortunately for us, Fisher Meats was in need of just such a facility. The town wishes to thank the Jay County Development Corporation for their assistance in making this happen.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Fisher Packing Company (dba Fisher Meats) up to US$100,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Redkey and the city of Portland approved additional incentives at the request of the Jay County Development Corporation.
Portland Mayor Randy Geesaman said: “Fisher Meats has been an excellent community partner in every project we have had here in the city. This is the third-generation of the family that has been here, and we welcome the investment that they’re making in our community.”
The company produces and distributes its Fisher-brand meats – including deli meats, summer sausages, bacon and ham – to customers across Indiana and west central Ohio.
With its retail locations in Portland and Muncie, Fisher Meats also offers custom processing of locally-raised farm animals and co-packages food products for other companies across the region.