Chip and popcorn company Better Made Snack Foods may move some of its operations to Greenville northeast of Grand Rapids, if MichCon and Detroit officials don't help grow its business, Chief Operating Officer Mike Schena said.
The snack manufacturer wants not only to build a 50,000-square-foot warehouse to accommodate its growing potato-stick business, but also to spend as much as $6 million in the next two to three years to increase efficiencies and expand its production facility. The plan calls for a high-pressure gas line to be built to its plant to run new equipment.
"MichCon wants $100,000 to lay 1,000 feet. I said, 'No, bring it to the sidewalk and we'll pay to bring it inside and attach to regulators,' " Schena said.
If Better Made does open a plant in Greenville, it will be for its three-year-old potato sticks business and possibly its popcorn line. Its flagship snack would continue to come from Detroit.
"The potato chips will stay right where they are," Schena said. "We have adequate space and gas to grow that business. The infrastructure suits that business. It doesn't suit our growing business."
Privately owned Better Made, which employs about 200 people, said it had about $65 million in revenues last year with a growth rate of 8% per year.