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A new era for Prescott

Local and state officials, including Gov. Scott Walker, were on hand for Friday's groundbreaking for United Natural Foods, Inc., (UNFI) in the Eagle Ridge Business Park in Prescott. Walker in the white shirt and blue tie, are surrounded by UNFI officials and Prescott officials in the picture. 6 / 12
Sean Griffin, UNFI Group President, got big cheers from the crowd when he said after the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers were his second favorite NFL team. 7 / 12
Steve Spinner, UNFI CEO, says the company "is thrilled to be in Prescott".8 / 12
Gov. Scott Walker posing with the last three Mayors of Prescott, who all played a role in bringing UNFI to Prescott. Pictured from left to right: former Mayor Mike Hunter, current Mayor Dave Hovel, Gov. Walker and former Mayor Mark Huber. 9 / 12
After the groundreaking, Gov. Walker posed for pictures with people from multiple organizations. This one was with City of Prescott officials. 10 / 12
Gov. Walker with Chamber members who were in attendance. 11 / 12
Walker with Ptacek's IGA staff. 12 / 12

A new era was launched Friday morning in Prescott as United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), held its groundbreaking for a new distribution center in the Eagle Ridge Business Park. 

UNFI, a distributor of natural and organic foods, will be building a 300,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to create around 315 jobs over the next three years. UNFI officials expect the building to be ready in about 12 months. 

Local and state officials attended the festivities including Governor Scott Walker, who was one of multiple speakers addressing those in attendance.

"UNFI is an industry leader and a rapidly growing company that just posted double-digit increases over last year in both sales and income," said Governor Walker. "The jobs created by this investment in northwestern Wisconsin are good news for the region, and yet another example of the growing number of companies who see significant advantages to expanding their operations in Wisconsin."

"It's great to be in the city of Prescott, a community that has embraced us." said Sean Griffin, UNFI's Group President. "The demand for natural, organic food is there and we are excited to be in the center of the growth."

Steve Spinner, UNFI CEO, said when the company was targeting cities for its next distribution center, its three goals were proximity to major markets, access to work force and viable land, all three which Prescott met.

"The Twin Cities market is a great market for our products," Spinner said.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation authorized up to $3.5 million in state tax credits for the Prescott project over a four-year period. The actual amount of tax credits will be contingent upon the number of jobs created during that period.

The company's UNFI Foundation contributed $340,000 to non-profit programs with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture and organic farming. The foundation also funds educational programs that enhance the awareness of the benefits of healthy food choices.

For more please read the June 25 print version of the Pierce County Herald.   

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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