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April 18, 2024 Deal Watch

Mass. food manufacturer eyes purchase of Carla’s Pasta’s S. Windsor production plant; plans $71M in upgrades

COSTAR Carla's Pasta's 148,083-square-foot food production plant, at 50 Talbot Lane and 280 Nutmeg Road in South Windsor.

A Massachusetts food manufacturer is planning to expand to South Windsor, with a proposed $71 million upgrade to the sprawling Carla’s Pasta facility, which is slated to close “imminently,” a town official said.

Home Market Foods, based in Norwood, Massachusetts, produces frozen meatballs and other foods, including hot dogs sold at convenience stores and movie theaters.

The company is planning a 28,000-square-foot addition to Carla's Pasta's 148,083-square-foot food production plant at 50 Talbot Lane.

The parent company of Carla’s Pasta, which was acquired through a bankruptcy auction in 2021, put the company’s sprawling South Windsor-based food production plant up for sale at the end of last year. 

The Town Council on Monday approved a seven-year tax abatement on the value of the new portion of the building, contingent upon Home Market Foods’ completion of the project, the creation of 210 jobs and payment of all other real estate taxes on the property.

Negotiations between town officials and the company, under the codename “Project Fin,” occurred during an executive session of the Economic Development Commission on March 27.

Although the name of the company became public during Monday’s Town Council meeting, Councilor Michael Buganski, the council’s liaison to the Economic Development Commission, said it was important for the negotiations to occur in private.

“Many times, questions regarding sensitive financial decisions need to be held in a small group outside of the public realm until a general consensus is met,” Buganski said. “There could be a million reasons why that is. Typically the business asking for a concession is not interested in sharing their financial position with the public until a commitment is made. In this case, I believe the business in question also wants to maintain a certain level of anonymity in order to protect their market position.” 

Under the deal, Home Market Foods would purchase the property from its current owner, Wisconsin-based Tribe 9 Foods, which is the parent company of Carla's Pasta.

Carla's Pasta filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2021, citing tens of millions of dollars in debt and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its sales. 

Buganski said the new company is expected to offer jobs to all current employees, in addition to creating new positions.

“These are well-paying jobs that are good for the community, especially since some of the affected folks likely live here,” he said.

The abatement would total approximately $70,000 a year for the first three years, and then would decrease, Buganski said.

A tax abatement on the existing building is set to expire in 2025.

The property is appraised at $15.96 million

Tribe 9 Foods bought Carla’s Pasta through a bankruptcy auction in 2021 for $26.3 million.

Officials from Home Market Foods said they expect the project to be finished by the end of 2027.

Megan Overdorff, director of talent acquisition for Home Market Foods, said the family-owned company will become involved in the community. She said the 60-year-old business takes care of its employees, offering perks including an employer-matching savings plan and no-interest loans to employees facing financial challenges.

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