|Freshpet President Richard Thompson (L) presents Fido to Tp Manager Jay Finnigan (R)|
Freshpet President Richard Thompson, standing alongside cardboard cutouts of a dog and cat, presented plans for a new facility at 176 N. Commerce Way, located in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. An existing 60,000 sq ft building will be expanded to 80,000 sq ft with a $25 million investment and will be fully operational by next July.
Thompson's company is the originator of Meow Mix, which he calls "McDonald's for cats." But he sold that brand to invest in better, healthier products that use no preservatives and must be refrigerated. His business currently has $60 million in annual sales to 9,000 stores nationwide, including Giant, WalMart and Weiss. Wegman's will start selling his beef, bison, lamb and chicken products in January. With his expansion, Thompson estimates annual sales of $250 million.
"We're thrilled to be here," Thompson stated, even though his company was offered no KOZ, NIZ, TIF or LERTA incentives.
Before leaving, Thompson made a gift of his dog and cat cardboard cutouts.
"You are a savior!" exclaimed Township Manager Jay Finnigan. "My wife wanted a dog for Christmas!"