Kentwood bakery to expand, add 200+ jobs

Kent County

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A family company founded nearly 100 years ago in metro Grand Rapids is taking on a multimillion-dollar expansion.

Roskam Baking Company is still family-owned and operated. Inside its plant on Broadmoor Avenue north of 60th Street SE in Kentwood, it makes everything from croutons and caramel corn to bakery products and frozen foods.

With the expansion announced Wednesday by regional economic development agency The Right Place, Roskam will add two new product lines. It’s also adding 238 jobs to a workforce already 2,000 strong.

Andria Romkema, the vice president of marketing and communications at The Right Place, said Roskam is already hiring.

“They have everything from managerial, professional down to different manufacturing, operating jobs, production jobs. So it will be a wide variety of jobs that they’ll be hiring for over the next couple of years,” Romkema said.

Romkema says the “ripple effect” of more than 200 new hires and a capital investment of $85.2 million will spread through local economies.

“These people (new employees) now can now maybe purchase a home, they can go shopping at local retail establishments in the area, they’re going out to eat, they’re supporting all of those local businesses,” she listed.

Romkema the market is competitive and that Roskam, which was founded locally in 1923, had offers to take its business out of state. Work by The Right Place, a $1 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a tax abatement from the city of Kentwood made sure Roskam would continue to grow in West Michigan.

“Companies have many options and their choice to stay here in West Michigan is really a testament to the economic strength we have here in the region,” Romkema said.

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