Rochester's Reichel Foods is expanding its operations and is bringing 14 jobs to Dexter by buying a long empty facility for $1.5 million.
Reichel Foods bought the 54,000-square-foot complex on Nov. 18 from the Development Corporation of Austin, according to Mower County records. It had been used by McNeilus Cos. of Dodge Center from 2003 to 2009 to manufacture cement mixer drums. McNeilus vacated the facility in 2013.
“We're growing. This gives us an opportunity to do what we need,” Reichel owner and president Craig Reichel said. “The building fits our needs really well.”
He said the snack-foods company is using the Dexter building for a combination of storage and distribution. While his company already is using part of it, he said remodeling is underway. Once that is complete, Reichel will be able to fully use it and add the new jobs.
The Dexter building is an addition for Reichel Foods' Rochester facilities, which employs more than 400 employees. Reichel Foods makes snack foods, including the popular line of Dippin’ Stix products used in many vending machines and sold in stores such as Walmart.
"It's a good fit for Dexter, " said DCA president John Garry.
The Austin DCA is a nonprofit corporation focused on economic development in Austin and greater Mower County. The DCA built the facility in 2003 for McNeilus in the Dexter industrial park just northeast of the I-90 juncture with Minnesota Highway 16.
The building has been on the market since November 2014, when McNeilus pulled out. When it closed the facility, almost 30 people worked there.
“These are good jobs for Dexter. I’m excited for the community, Reichel Foods and our region. I think it will work out really well," stated Garry in an announcement of the deal.