Hudson food manufacturer plans $4.5 million investment that will create 97 jobs

Arlington Valley Farms has a facility on Hudson Drive

Phil Keren
Akron Beacon Journal
Arlington Valley Farms started operating on Hudson Drive in January after relocating to Hudson from Cleveland. The company is planning to invest $4.5 million in capital equipment, a move that will create 97 jobs at the facility.

HUDSON — A food manufacturing and marketing company is planning to invest $4.5 million in capital equipment and create 97 jobs at its production facility on Hudson Drive.

Arlington Valley Farms (AVF) announced it is planning to launch several “ready-to-eat” frozen/packaged food brands, according to a news release issued  this week by Team NEO, a nonprofit economic development organization. Team NEO is the designated JobsOhio network partner.

AVF is receiving a $250,000 job creation grant from JobsOhio, said Peter Jacobson, the company's CEO. The funds will be used to invest in equipment related to AVF's new S’wiches Crafted Sandwiches and Snack’n Waffles production lines, he said.. Overall, the company is planning to spend $4.5 million on capital equipment, which will also include investing in the production lines for future products.

AVF distributes its products into the food service industry, which supplies schools, hospitals and universities, Jacobson said. In a couple months, AVF will begin distributing its products to grocery stores and wholesale clubs.

“We are extremely grateful to the city of Hudson, Summit County, JobsOhio and Team NEO for their partnership in our expansion and their financial support," Jacobson said. "Our vision is North America, but our foundation is centered upon our Arlington Valley Farms employee family, our city, county and state, and to our many partners who help us feed the world the way we feed our own families.”

Once the 97 additional employees join the firm, Jacobson said AVF will have about 112 workers.

Hudson City Council in November 2017 approved entering a $1.5 million agreement with AVF for the company to lease 5.6 acres of city-owned property at 5369 Hudson Drive. Under the agreement, AVF has an option to purchase the property, which contains a previously vacant building.

AVF, which relocated from Cleveland, has been operating out of the Hudson Drive building since January of this year, Jacobson said. 

"We have a lease-purchase agreement with the city of Hudson for which we are very grateful," said Jacobson. "We have about 38 more payments to [make to] the city… and a final balloon payment at which time we’ll own our property outright.  We’re super-excited about our Hudson location, and we hope to grow here within the community for many years to come."

Hudson's economic development leader said he was glad to see that AVF's relocation is working out well.

“The city …is thrilled that Arlington Valley Farms has elected to call Hudson home,” said Stifler. “The company’s leaders are food industry veterans with a great record of innovation. They have made wonderful use of a strategic space in our city and their early growth trajectory is extremely promising.”

Summit County's leader said her administration also backs the company's efforts

“Summit County is excited to support the growth of Arlington Valley Farms,” added Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. “Through our public workforce system’s On-the-Job Training program funding and targeted job seeker recruiting, we are committed to helping this thriving business add good-paying jobs at a time when they are desperately needed."

AVF's approach incorporates scratch cooking with high-volume bakery production. The company produces nearly everything it makes — including products such as BBQ sauce, chicken pepperoni and apple filling — from raw premium ingredients.

In addition to AVF's planned investment, Stifler said Hudson has received two other pieces of good news in the business realm this year: Diebold Nixdorf announced last week it was relocating its headquarters from Green to Hudson, and Fleet Response announced earlier this year that it would relocate from Independence to Hudson in late summer of 2021.

"Hudson has fared extremely well in this environment," said Stifler.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.