Bacon plant’s new owner may add jobs

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Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:00 am

The sale of a Harlan, Iowa, bacon plant is expected to bring new jobs to the city of 5,100 when a fifth production line is added next year.

Westin Foods of Omaha said Monday it has sold its Shelby County Cookers business and bacon facility to Monogram Food Solutions of Memphis, Tenn., and is using some of the proceeds to buy an interest in Monogram.

Monogram, through its established distribution into retail channels, will be able to expand the business faster than Westin could alone, said Scott Carlson, Westin president and CEO.

Westin, a founding investor in Shelby County Cookers in 2004, has had a relationship with Monogram since 2011, when the firms worked together to create and market bacon jerky, made at Shelby County Cookers and distributed nationally under four brands, Carlson said en route to the Harlan facility, which has more than 200 employees.

The management team will remain in place, including Shelby County Cookers president Brett Elliott, who will lead Monogram’s new Monogram Prepared Meats division. Carlson will join the Monogram board.

Sale terms were not disclosed. Carlson said Shelby County Cookers has annual revenue of $70 million and is on track to hit $100 million “in the near future.”

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