FGF Brands, the Toronto-based maker of muffins, croissants, and breads that first set up shop in central San Antonio in 2018, is looking to establish a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant on the West Side.
The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) announced Monday that FGF Brands has chosen to invest over $129 million to establish its U.S. headquarters in San Antonio and adding 600 new jobs. The new plant would be built on a 100-acre parcel of land at 6245 State Highway 151.
“We are excited about the potential to expand our San Antonio operations through the creation of a new campus with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology,” stated Ojus Ajmera, co-founder of FGF. “Establishing our U.S. headquarters in San Antonio allows us to better serve our U.S. client base while simultaneously bringing significant investment, development, and opportunity to San Antonio’s Westside community.”
Founded by brothers Ojus and Tejus Ajmera over a decade ago, FGF Brands’ operations in Canada and the U.S. produce baked goods for coffee houses, restaurants, and grocery retailers. San Antonio was one of three cities FGF chose for expansion in the U.S. and will announce its final selections before the end of the year.
In San Antonio, the specialty baked goods supplier employs 328 people at its facility near downtown. The company plans to invest $129 million in a new manufacturing campus on San Antonio’s West Side and almost triple its workforce.
On Tuesday, County commissioners approved a 10-year, 50 percent real and personal property tax abatement valued at $1.7 million for FGF Brands. Over that time, the County would realize new taxes of nearly $2 million, plus new annual tax revenues of $31,000 for flood control and $372,861 for the University Health System, said David Marquez, executive director of Economic and Community Development.
FGF Brands also is eligible for an Upskill Project tax abatement from the City, an incentive tool established last year to attract companies that commit to promoting economic mobility through their hiring practices and workforce training programs.
FGF Brands jobs pay an average annual salary of $38,511, according to Marquez.
“With this Upskill Project, FGF Brands demonstrates their commitment to providing true career advancement and training opportunities to the residents of San Antonio,” stated Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
FGF would be the first company to receive an Upskill Project incentive.
“This type of tax abatement is the first step in making economic development incentives more inclusive, as the program allows the City to co-invest with employers who want to focus on hiring from distressed communities and are willing to support innovative workforce development partnerships,” said Alejandra Lopez, interim director of the Economic Development Department, in an email.
The City’s incentive package would provide FGF Brands with a 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement valued at $4.5 million, stated City Manager Erik Walsh. Some of that money would be invested in programs aimed at helping FGF employees overcome career barriers, such as earning a high school diploma or improving their language skills.
“Additionally, the City will provide a $500,000 training grant for its employees – making this a true partnership that will help our residents and their employees achieve their career goals,” Walsh said.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said San Antonio has “immense opportunity” to continue growing the region’s manufacturing supply chain in the food and beverage sector. The County is committed to supporting the industry’s growth and building the workforce to sustain it, he added, through programs such as the Texas Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education’s (TX FAME), a two-year program that trains students to become advanced manufacturing technicians.
Since 2018, SAEDF has worked to bring over $570 million in foreign direct investment, resulting in close to 3,000 new jobs for the San Antonio region. In recent weeks, it has announced both major expansions and newcomers to the region, including Toyota, Aisin AW, Navistar, and EY.
“With our inclusive culture, diverse workforce, and advantageous geographic location, San Antonio is ideally positioned to attract and retain international companies,” stated Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, CEO of the SAEDF. “We look forward to the work ahead with FGF Brands to ensure they select our community for this expansion.”