ELWOOD, KS – Nor-Am Cold Storage has finalized the purchase of the former Affiliated Foods distribution center in Elwood, KS from Associated Wholesale Grocers. The acquisition of the 478,000 square foot building is driven by an increased demand for space.
“We are fortunate to be a part of a growing industry. The demand for both temperature controlled and dry warehouse space is higher than ever” said Justin Brandt, General Manager of Nor-Am in Saint Joseph, Kansas City and now Elwood. “We’ll use this space to meet the demand of our current customers as well as to attract new customers to the area. Customer demand is pushing us to aggressively expand our footprint.”
Nor-Am came to St. Joseph in 2009 when they purchased Artesian Ice & Cold Storage. They expanded their building at 3400 Stockyards Expressway in 2013 adding 72,000 square feet and 10 jobs in St. Joseph. “We plan to add up to 50 jobs in the Elwood facility in the first 12 months, with a 5 year projection of roughly 90 jobs,” said Ashley Albers, HR Manager for Nor-Am. “While we may move some of our team members from our current buildings to the new facility, it is because we need their experience. The headcount, the jobs and the work in St. Joe isn’t going anywhere.” Nor-Am plans to add not only warehouse positions but also maintenance, management, and value added teams such as kitting and repackaging. “We are a company that prides itself on promoting from within, this project opens up a lot of opportunities for our current employees to be promoted as well as allowing us to recruit top talent for our management team” said Albers.
Nor-Am noted that the building has been well maintained but will take $2-3 Million of upgrades and renovations to get the building ready for their production. Scott Albers, VP of Operations for Nor-Am said “We try to partner with local businesses and contractors whenever possible. We were able to utilize local finance and broker services for the purchase and will use as many local contractors as possible to clean and update the building for our use. Doniphan County and the Kansas Economic Development team has also been very helpful in the acquisition.”
“We are fortunate that we live in an area of economic potential and growth and can help facilitate expansions of growing industries from the St. Joseph area into Doniphan County," said Adrienne Korson, director of economic development for Doniphan County, Kansas. “New capital investment and job creation like those at Nor-Am, sustains and strengthens our region's economy and portrays our commitment to economic development.”
Ashley Albers says the Nor-Am team is looking forward to being a part of the Elwood community. “We’re a family operated business and really try to be involved in the towns that we are located in. These towns aren’t just where we work, they are where we live, and we are absolutely invested in seeing them succeed. We love being a part of the St. Joseph business community and look forward to getting to know Elwood.”
One thing that all businesses have in common is that they are always looking for good people. Nor-Am will be looking for about 50 of them this year, the easiest way to see all of their current job openings is right from your cell phone. Text NORAM to 48421 to start the mobile friendly hiring process.
Nor-Am Cold Storage is a privately held, family operated public refrigerated warehouse. Founded in 1999 and based in Le Mars, IA, Nor-Am currently has 300 employees and is listed as number 17 in the Top 25 Refrigerated Warehouses in North America, as released by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouse. Nor-Am currently has locations in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and the newly acquired location in Kansas. While the core business is refrigerated warehousing, Nor-Am offers a variety of value added services such as exporting, repackaging, tempering, pre-pricing and kitting.