Oak Creek — Stella and Chewy's will relocate and expand its premium raw pet food manufacturing facility to Oakview Business Park in the second quarter of 2015, the Oak Creek Plan Commission approved Tuesday.
With 45 percent growth year over year, Stella and Chewy's eyed the 164,007-square-foot manufacturing space at 111 Oakview Parkway to "put down some long term roots in the community of Oak Creek," said Jen Guzman, chief executive officer.
The 20-plus year lease offers an opportunity for Stella and Chewy's to purchase the building after five years. The company expects 130 starting employees in 2015 and up to 160 or more by 2016.
"This is going to be our leading, signature company at Oakview Business Park. It's a tremendous, first class company. Welcome to Oak Creek," said Mayor Steve Scaffidi.
This item was approved at the Plan Commission level and does not need Common Council approval.
Regardless if Stella and Chewy's owns the building, Guzman plans to expand the facility up to 280,000 square feet. There is also an option to purchase four acres of adjacent land, which is between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet.
To quiet concerns about potential odor emissions, Lloyd Parks, director of operations, affirmed that the company is a "no cook" facility, meaning, all material comes in a frozen state and is freeze dried. Nothing is rendered.
"The mentality of the company is raw," said Parks.
There will also be a dog run on the east side of the building where employees' dogs can play outside on an interim basis.
Stella and Chewy's was founded by Marie Moody 2003 in New York and moved to Muskego in 2007. The company is named after Moody's dogs and is currently housed at 2842 S. 5th Court in Milwaukee.
Guzman said Stella and Chewy's is also expanding internationally into Canada in 2015.
"We can't do that until we have additional space," said Guzman.
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