Hearthside Foods Idaho facility
Hearthside Food Solutions' new 85,000-square-foot nutrition bar facility will employ 168 when it reaches full production.

DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — Hearthside Food Solutions, the largest independent bar producer and largest contract manufacturer, has begun operations at its nutrition bar facility in Boise, Idaho, giving the Downers Grove-based company nine bar plants in the United States and Europe. The 185,000-square-foot plant will employ 168 when it reaches full production, the company said.

The Boise bar facility, which was idled shortly before being acquired by Hearthside in late 2015, gives the company “immediate U.S. capacity to its growing bar network.” Hearthside said it “moved swiftly” to rehire local plant leadership and retrofit, upgrade and restart the reconfigured plant. Prior to being acquired by Hearthside, the Boise plant was a PowerBar facility owned and operated by Post Holdings, Inc.

Hearthside said the Boise facility enables the company to better leverage VSI expertise in the North American market. Hearthside acquired VSI, the largest nutritional bar producer in Europe, in August 2015.

“This commencement validates our forward-looking investments in strategic contract manufacturing resources, providing customers with increased options and greater supply chain value,” said Rich Scalise, chairman and chief executive officer of Hearthside. “We will continue to invest and expand our world-class manufacturing network to meet the demands of premier food companies.”

Dwayne Hughes, senior vice-president of supply chain at Hearthside, said the facility “enables continued growth, adding new customers in the rapidly growing nutritional, sport and breakfast bar markets.”

Hearthside Food Solutions is the largest independent baker in the United States and a full-service contract manufacturer of grain-based foods, snack products and packaging. Hearthside operates 24 production facilities in the United States and Europe.