Letter to Owners Regarding VNM Sale or Lease
In 2017, Valley Natural Foods opened the Valley Natural Meats processing facility near Northfield, Minn. The vision for the facility was to expand Valley Natural Foods’ meat wholesale operations and to provide small, local farmers with access to high-quality, competitive processing. It became clear over the course of 2017 that our performance would not be able to match the projections of our business plan. In January 2018 we made the decision to cease operations at the meat plant and consider next steps. We worked with Todd Churchill, a consultant and former owner of Thousand Hills Beef, to review our business plan and develop a list of potential next steps. After deliberation, our board of directors has decided to seek an operator to lease or buy the facility.
At this time, the focus of our resources and efforts are on a successful expansion of our retail location. We believe we can have the greatest impact on our community by investing in more space for community members to come together over a greater selection of local, organic and dietary-specific foods. A relaunch of the meat plant would involve a significant capital investment over several years. That investment would make the expansion of our retail location difficult, if not impossible. In weighing our choices, the ability to better serve our owners and customers leads us to focus on the store expansion.
Our hope with the meat plant is to find an operator with similar values to purchase or lease the facility. We have selected Chris Kinnelly of Bluewater Properties in Northfield to act as our real estate broker. Chris brings considerable experience and understands our desire to balance financial considerations with our standards in the search for an operator. We will update our owners on the status of the sale or lease of the plant as new information becomes available.
We would like to thank all of the patrons who have supported Valley Natural Meats. If you have any questions regarding the processing facility, please contact Valley Natural Foods CEO Nick Seeberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.