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A new and vibrant addition to the Springfield economy is open for business, and company and community leaders were on hand October 18 to cut the ribbon on the new facility.
Austin, Texas-based Vital Farms has opened its egg washing and packing facility, dubbed Egg Central Station, in Partnership Industrial Center West. The facility processes the company’s pasture-raised eggs, collected from a network of small, independent family farms that focus on humane animal welfare and sustainable farming. More than 50 full-time employees already work in Springfield, with plans to create up to 50 additional jobs in the near future.
When the company was looking for the location of its new processing facility, it needed a site that met several criteria: proximity to its highest concentration of farms, ready-made infrastructure, easy access to distribution channels and a skilled workforce.
Area leaders scrambled into action.
Springfield’s Partnership for Economic Development, along with the Chamber’s economic development staff, helped company officials through the process of purchasing the 11-acre PIC West site and obtaining necessary permits to meet an aggressive construction timeline—from ground breaking to opening took just over a year—as well as negotiating an incentive package to secure the jobs and investment for the Springfield region. Missouri Partnership, the statewide business attraction organization, helped Vital Farms evaluate Missouri and assess programs designed to attract new jobs and investment to the state.
“Whether it’s our central location, our talented workforce or our collaborative spirit, this region has many of the assets job creators are looking for,” said Chamber President Matt Morrow, who hosted the ribbon cutting event. “We look forward to many years of Vital Farms being a successful and thriving member of the Springfield business community.”
Company founder and CEO Matt O’Hayer noted at the ribbon cutting ceremony that the local community is one of five stakeholder groups the company focuses on as part of its “conscious capitalism” approach, along with customers, crew members, vendors and shareholders.
“Over the last year we’ve seen what a great community we have here,” he told the crowd of more than 200 at the ceremony. “The city—from the mayor’s office to the Chamber to everyone that has been involved in helping with this process—has really embraced Vital Farms. We felt it from the day we came to this community.”
And Springfield leaders showed their readiness to welcome the new business to the community, with Mayor Ken McClure on hand to offer congratulations on the new facility and what it means for the region.
“Having companies like Vital Farms come here sends a message to other businesses that Springfield is indeed open for business,” McClure said, noting the City Council’s focus on encouraging economic vitality in the city. “We want to show that we are a great place to do business, and we welcome your involvement.”