Dough supplier about to rise in Whitehall business park

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
Cerelia, a global producer of ready-made dough and baked goods, is expected to join Whitehall's Airport South Commerce and Tech Park soon.

An international flavor is expected to arrive in Whitehall early next year when construction begins on a 160,000-square-foot, $23 million facility at Airport South Commerce and Tech Park.

The occupant will be Cerelia, a global producer of ready-made dough and baked goods.

A groundbreaking ceremony is expected in late June for construction on the vacant lot where a Kroger warehouse once stood at North Yearling and Poth roads, said Jenna Goehring, economic-development manager for Whitehall.

Cerelia is moving from City Gate Drive in Columbus.

The company will invest $23 million in construction costs, $11 million in equipment and $2 million in inventory at its new site.

The move will add 80 jobs to Whitehall's economy, and Cerelia will create 40 jobs, for a total of 120 jobs with a combined payroll of $7.5 million, Goehring said.

Cerelia is not a retail business; rather, it packages and distributes products to commercial customers, Goehring said.

The city's relationship with the developer, Fed One Dublin, opened the path for Cerelia to choose the Airport South Commerce and Tech Park, Goehring said.

Whitehall approved an economic incentive to attract Cerelia.

The city approved a 15-year, 100% property-tax abatement and a five-year municipal income-tax reimbursement that applies only to the new jobs that are created, Goehring said.

The approximate value of the 15-year property-tax abatement during its 15-year term is $6,950,685, Goehring said.

The value of the five-year income-tax reimbursement is $250,000 each year, she said.

"Cerelia looked at many places but found what they wanted here in Whitehall," Goehring said.

The Airport South Commerce and Tech Park has 44 occupants and is 85% occupied, Goehring said.

The 350-acre commerce park, a half-mile south of John Glenn Columbus International Airport, opened in 2014.

"This new facility will allow us to expand our resources and ultimately increase our market share in the U.S. and Canada," Claude Le Bourg, chief operations officer for Cerelia, said in a press release.

Based in France, Cerelia entered the U.S. and Canadian market in 2017 through the acquisition of English Bay Batter, with operations in Columbus, Toronto and Vancouver, the release said.

Cerelia employs more than 1,600 people in production facilities in France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S., the release said.

"We are thrilled that Cerelia selected Whitehall for its strategic expansion in the U.S.," Mayor Kim Maggard said. "The company's decision is a testament to the economic opportunity in our region for prospective businesses."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo