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Plant-based protein factory expanding in Galesburg

Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
Innovative Production USA makes plant-based proteins from high-quality agricultural inputs. A loan from the city of Galesburg will help the company expand production.

A $250,000 revolving loan from the city will be used to modernize the facility and upgrade processes and equipment.

Innovative Production USA opened in Galesburg in May of 2020, when nearly everything else was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two years later, the company has experienced steady growth and is ready to scale up again.

“It’s kind of an economic development success story when you recruit a company, and then two years later, they’re coming back and seeking to expand,” said Ken Springer, president of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development.

The company uses high-quality agricultural inputs to make plant-based protein ingredients that are used in products such as oat milk and dairy alternative chocolate.

Now a $250,000 revolving loan from the city of Galesburg will be used to modernize the facility and upgrade processes and equipment.

Those improvements will allow the company to expand production to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

CEO Matthew Dorothy said on acquisition of the Galesburg plant, the operation had two employees, and now they’re pushing 60.

“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of heavy lift from our local management team,” Dorothy said.

This year the company expects to process 15 million pounds of oat in the Galesburg facility.

Plant manager Gerald Zimmerman said they expect to add 25 more employees over the next three years with the expansion.

“We are there at 701 West Sixth Street to provide opportunity. We are growing, and I like the enthusiasm of our workforce,” Zimmerman said.

The company also received a loan from the city in 2020.

Officials noted the company has been on-time with payments on that loan, and on-schedule with anticipated job creation.

The new loan was unanimously approved by the city council.

It is a five-year loan amortized over 10 years at 5.5%.

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