Marion residents should look to Phoenix if they are curious about what baked goods supplier Café Valley plans to do at the former Thomson site.
And if the wind is right, South Marion may catch the smell of hot cinnamon rolls or spice cake.
Larry Polhill, principal partner and board of directors member, said there are not many odors from the production process, but some could occasionally escape and get blown by the prevailing winds toward the Cardinal Greenway.
The company plans to initially hire 100 workers when the facility opens in 2014. Polhill said the positions would be “production, packaging, sanitation, warehouse, maintenance, engineering, scheduling, receiving and shipping.”
Tim Eckerle, executive director of the Grant County Economic Growth Council, which assisted the company in finding its planned location, said the company planned to make a “statement” with its Marion facility.
“They want to have a clean, modern, dynamic structure,” he said.
For its planned Café Valley East, the company plans to replicate much of what made it successfully expand from a 106,000-square-foot building in the Southwest Valley to a 300,000-square-foot Phoenix facility in 2011.
The company was formed in 1987 as a small retail bakery, according to its website. It expanded its presence throughout the Southwest and started distributing baked goods nationally and internationally.
Polhill said the company’s decision to locate in Marion came to logistics.
“Logistically, we want to better serve the (eastern) portions of the country,” he said in an email.
Currently, the company produces cakes, croissants, muffins and pastries, which it sells under the Café Valley and Café Valley Bakery brands. One recent product is its 7Up Cake.
These can be found in chain grocery and convenience stores and fast food restaurants such as 7-Eleven, Aldi, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Jewel-Osco, KFC, Kmart, Kroger, Meijer and Wal-Mart.
Polhill said final details and production plans for Marion are not finished, but the company will likely produce most of the same products made in Phoenix.
“It will be very similar to the (Phoenix) location but we will start smaller with the design as such we can expand in the future as the market dictates the need,” he said in an email.
Mayor Wayne Seybold said the city was proud that Café Valley had selected it, especially after a search that included 50 locations in three states.
“They’re a growing company and we’re glad to be a part of that,” he said.