MICHIGAN CITY, IND. — Hearthside Food Solutions, a manufacturer of grain-based snack foods and baked goods, said it will invest $6 million to renovate and add 8,600 square feet to its 180,000-square-foot facility in Michigan City. The expansion, which will create up to 51 new jobs by 2016, also will include the installation of manufacturing equipment that will allow Hearthside to produce a cracker-based product, which is expected to be operational by this spring.

Hearthside currently has more than 400 full-time employees in Michigan City and plans to begin hiring additional machine operator associates in March.

“We look forward to continued growth at our Indiana facility,” said Bob Wojcik, plant manager at Hearthside. “We continue to grow in a highly competitive industry, due in part to the quality of the Indiana workforce and the state’s positive business climate. As our business continues to grow, we will continue to invest in our people, plant and equipment.”

Formed in 2009, Hearthside is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing independent bakeries and contract manufacturers, producing grain-based food and snack products. The company operates 13 facilities in six states with a base of more than 5,000 employees. The company’s product line includes bars, cookies, crackers, granola, pretzels and other baked snack components.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Hearthside Holdco, L.L.C. up to $200,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based.