ST. PAUL, Minn. — Barrett Petfood Innovations (BPI) held a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 12 at the site of its new, 160,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Little Falls, which is expected to create 85 jobs over the next three years.

Tom Barrett, managing director of BPI, said the facility will house one production line at the start of production with roughly 40 employees, but plans to add a second production line in the future and ramp up its workforce to 200 to 300 employees total.

“Today, we’re moving a little bit of dirt, laying the foundation for the new building,” Tom said during the ceremony. “Hopefully by November, the building will be going up. By [next] June, it’ll be completed and we’ll be making pet food by July.”

Tom and his sister Sarah Barrett, co-managing director of BPI, said the new facility will utilize Wenger extruders that will allow them to incorporate higher levels of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables in the company’s formulations.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said it invested a total of $625,000 into the project, including $450,000 from the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) and $175,000 from the Job Creation Fund (JCF).

The jobs created by BPI’s expansion will pay an average of $15.98 per hour, according to DEED.

“Barrett Petfood Innovations is a rapidly growing company in central Minnesota with customers located around the world,” said Governor Tim Walz. “I congratulate Little Falls and Barrett Petfood Innovations on this new expansion.”

BPI is a family-owned co-manufacturer of extruded pet foods based in Brainerd. It produces more than 150 premium pet food products for domestic and international distribution. The business was founded by Mike Barrett in 1982 and is currently operated by his children, Sarah and Tom Barrett.

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