Riding the wellness wave, gluten-free pizza maker Urban Farmer LCC has announced the expansion of its Manteno, Illinois, headquarters with the purchase of an existing industrial property at 1551 N. Boudreau Road at the Diversatech Business Park. The 111,000 square foot, food-grade facility on 17 acres was constructed in 1990 by Merisant for dry ingredient blending and packaging to serve its Chicago market. Merisant closed its Manteno operation in 2016.
The new production site supplements Urban Farmer’s original 50,000 square foot headquarters and production facility, also located within the Manteno business park.
The pizza innovator, established in 2013, grew from 50 team members in 2017 to 170 in 2018. Company officials anticipate that total employment will reach 300 to 350 in 2019.
Specializing in vegetable-based crusts, Urban Farmer offers its branded products at Jewel grocery stores across Chicagoland. UF also co-manufactures pizza and other foods under private-label arrangements for food processors nationwide. Select products are non-GMO and/or organic in addition to being gluten free.
Food and food processing are mainstays of the Kankakee County economic landscape. There are 80 establishments in Kankakee County involved in the Agribusiness, Food Processing & Technology sector, producing a location quotient of 2.13, more than twice the concentration of employment compared to the U.S. average. Learn more here.
Download 2018 Sector Profile: Food Processing
Learn more about Urban Farmer’s growth here.