Davenport is literally bringing home the bacon.

At a Tuesday morning press conference, officials announced that Wisconsin-based Fair Oaks Foods will build a $134-million food production facility in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center off Interstate 80, Davenport. Construction of the 150,000-square-foot building will start this summer, and support 247 full-time jobs when it opens in early 2024.

Headquartered in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Fair Oaks is a family-owned meat processing company that was founded in 1985 and is the 11th-largest Black-owned business in the nation, according to a Tuesday press release.

Fair Oaks provides bacon, pork, turkey sausage and meatballs to food service providers, grocery stores and quick-serve restaurants globally. The state-of-the-art Davenport facility will produce fully-cooked bacon, and is estimated to have a $182-million annual economic impact in the region.

A rendering of the 150,000-square-foot bacon processing plant in Davenport.

The project (in which the company looked at 177 sites in the Midwest) is estimated to be the largest business attraction effort in the Quad Cities’ history, according to the QC Chamber of Commerce.

“I am extremely excited to expand our business to the great city of Davenport. We look forward to a long-standing relationship with the QC community, the city and the State of Iowa,” Michael L. Thompson, CEO & President of Fair Oaks Foods, said in the release.

“My dream is to build a long-standing ‘legacy’ family business. The opportunity that the city has extended to us is the right fit, at the right time, for Fair Oaks Foods. It will be a great opportunity for our people to live and thrive in this region. We look forward to providing new jobs and opportunities for the community. Davenport is a great place for families, and I am proud to add the Fair Oaks Foods family to the state of Iowa.”

The project (for a 32-acre site at Eastern Iowa Industrial Center) was announced during a press conference on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 with representatives from Fair Oaks Foods, the City of Davenport, the Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corporation (GDRC) and the Quad Cities Chamber.

I am excited to welcome Fair Oaks Foods to Davenport and the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center,” said Davenport Mayor Mike Matson. “Their investment in our community shows that the QC and Davenport is the ideal place for companies to locate and grow businesses. We look forward to this project adding to the vibrancy of our local economy.”

The new Fair Oaks Foods facility will be built at Eastern Iowa Industrial Center in northwest Davenport, off I-80, to open in early 2024.

The Davenport City Council is expected to vote on a resolution of support and financial commitment on Wednesday, June 15. If approved, the city would provide a 60% Tax Increment Finance (TIF) rebate to the company for 15 years, minus $1.1 million for the upfront cost of a pretreatment facility.

Fair Oaks Foods has also applied for a $3.4-million sales tax refund on construction materials from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), which is expected to consider the application Friday, June 17.

The company expects to hire 247 employees and offer competitive wages and benefits for a range of positions, including production, warehousing, sanitation, maintenance and plant management and support.

“Fair Oaks Foods prides itself on the relationships that it holds. We continue to build our legacy through strategic partnerships that share our values of trust and integrity,” said Joseph M. Freda, COO of Fair Oaks Foods.

“This was one of the main pillars when we chose The Austin Company to guide us in our search for a location to support our growth. The search started with over 177 sites in the Midwest and ended in Davenport. This is a community that mirrors our values and work ethic, and we are excited to make Davenport home to our future growth.”

“Projects like these are highly competitive and require coordination and collaboration among many partners to complete months of data gathering, resource reviews, meetings and providing a multitude of information to answer all of the questions of the potential company,” said Mike Oberhaus, interim CEO and chief strategy officer of the QC Chamber. “We welcome Fair Oaks Foods to the region.”