Meat snack company to invest $2M in Galesburg expansion, creating jobs and economic growth

Western Smokehouse Partners LLC, with its headquarters at 56 S. Kellogg St.
Western Smokehouse Partners LLC, with its headquarters at 56 S. Kellogg St. in Galesburg. (JAY REDFERN/WGIL)

A family-owned and operated company that specializes in the production and distribution of crafted meat snacks plans to expand its operations in Galesburg, a move that will result in an economic impact of more than $2 million to the area.

Western Smokehouse Partners LLC, with its headquarters at 56 S. Kellogg St. and a production facility Thrushwood Farms located at 2860 W. Main St., intends to grow its workforce at both locations.

Expansion will create 10 executive, up to 20 production jobs

The company will retain the current headquarter jobs with a minimum payroll of $500,000, and will add 10 more jobs with a minimum payroll of $1 million.

Western Smokehouse Partners LLC also will add 15 to 20 production jobs to Thrushwood Farms in Galesburg with a minimum payroll of $675,000.

With competitive offers from other locations in the company, Western Smokehouse is seeking an incentive of $300,000 from the city of Galesburg. In return, Western Smokehouse would agree to maintain it headquarters and the new jobs for a 10-year period.

The City Council will consider the incentive plan at Monday’s meeting at City Hall.

City Manager Eric Hanson recommends approval of a development agreement with Western Smokehouse Partners to retain and expand the company’s operation in Galesburg. He said there are sufficient funds available for this agreement in the Economic Development Fund.

Crystal Bohm, chief human resources officer for Western Smokehouse Partners, tells WGIL, “Western Smokehouse Partners is excited to continue to invest in the Galesburg community. We plan to add additional corporate roles to our location on Kellogg to support the business’s continued growth overall. With demand at an all time high, the Galesburg plant is growing as well. We are adding around 20 new production jobs to facilitate additional snack stick production. “

‘A textbook economic development win’

By providing this incentive, the city and developer will retain the Western Smokehouse Partners headquarters locally, and retain or create 32 local jobs, including 15 manufacturing jobs, with a total positive local economic impact of $2,175,000.

“This is a textbook economic development win for Galesburg and Knox County, said Ken Springer, president of Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development. “Western Smokehouse Partners is a rapidly-growing company and food processing is one of our region’s targeted growth industries.  Furthermore, adding additional good-paying jobs downtown will strengthen the entire downtown area.  Its simply a great project and a great win for everybody.

“This is a project that has been in discussions for some time and KCAP is excited to see it moving forward. City Manager Hanson and city staff did an awesome job putting together the final development agreement for this project and we hope that the Council approves the agreement on Monday night.”

In addition to the headquarters and Thrushwood Farms in Galesburg, Western Smokehouse has facilities in Springfield, Burlington, Iowa, and Greentop, Missouri.