HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A Chicago-based vegan food producer and restaurant announced plans to relocate operations to Huntington County. Kitchen 17 says it will invest more than $ 1 million to acquire and renovate the historic Herald Press building in Huntington, creating up to 64 jobs by the end of 2024.
The company was founded in 2013 by Huntington-born sisters Jennie and Lorry Plasterer. The Kitchen 17 restaurant in Chicago specializes in vegan pizza and home-style cooking. Jennie Plasterer says she turned the company around during the pandemic by turning the restaurant into a full-fledged manufacturing facility.
The company says the 25,000-square-foot building will house its headquarters, as well as the food production, packaging and distribution activities. The building will include a prep kitchen, retail tasting room, urban rooftop and dining event space, and a photo and video production studio for the marketing team.
“This is home. We went to big cities to take advantage of different opportunities and had a great time,” said Plasterer. “When the pandemic broke out, we didn’t just find an opportunity to reorganize our lives and our business but at the same time it needed expansion and we couldn’t think of a better place than Huntington’s. I teamed up with my sister and husband in my hometown to create the first plant-based restaurant here. It’s a very special one Moment for us. ”
The company says the Kitchen 17 restaurant in Chicago will continue to operate when production moves to Huntington. The company has 20 employees in Illinois and plans to hire for various roles in Huntington’s disease this summer.
“We’re proud and excited to welcome Kitchen 17 and Smiley Face Media to Huntington,” said Richard Strick, Huntington Mayor. “Their ambition, creativity and follow-up will add to the talent mix that Huntington’s disease has nurtured, and we look forward to seeing what new opportunities will emerge as the project progresses.”
Indiana Economic Development Corp. Kitchen 17 has offered up to $ 565,000 in conditional tax credits that the company will not be able to claim until Hoosier employees are hired for the new jobs. The City of Huntington has approved additional incentives.