In a ceremony featuring two of the Company's co-founders, Scott Morris and Cathal Walsh, numerous members of local government and economic development resources, who supported the expansion, along with Freshpet's first two employees, the Company broke ground in a fashion one would expect from a company dedicated to pets - with dogs digging the first hole to inaugurate construction.
The expanded Freshpet Kitchens campus will include the renovation of an existing 50,000 square foot building on the campus, as well as the addition of an incremental 90,000 square feet to that building. Scheduled to begin operating in the third quarter of 2020, Freshpet estimates hiring around 100 team members by the time that production begins. The company will employ 100 additional team members when the Kitchens are operating at full capacity, generating a total of 200 new job opportunities.
The expansion of the Freshpet Kitchens campus reflects our commitment to continually improving the way we make Freshpet - and will help us achieve our goal of changing the way people feed their pets. We believe our pets deserve fresh and natural food just like the other members of our family, said Billy Cyr, CEO of Freshpet. This new Kitchen will significantly expand our capacity and enable us to satisfy more pets while simultaneously improving quality, cost and safety.
The new Kitchen includes numerous innovations designed to improve the Company's impact on pets, people and the planet, an important part of Freshpet's mission. First, the expanded Kitchen is designed to further improve the quality of Freshpet foods, creating outstanding meals that both nourish and satisfy the pets we love. It will also offer significant safety enhancements to ensure that Freshpet team members continue to work in the best possible environment. Additionally, similar to the existing Freshpet Kitchen, the site will recycle all rainwater and will be powered by wind power credits.
Freshpet is dedicated to providing the highest quality nutrition for pets while simultaneously protecting the planet through sustainable business practices. The company, who recently committed to planting 28,000 trees this year, operates Freshpet Kitchens at zero-waste-to-landfill and uses 100% wind energy. The new Kitchen will follow suit in that sustainability effort. The Company has nearly doubled its sales every three years since 2009, with over 2.5 million households feeding Freshpet today. Freshpet can be found in over 20,000 fridges across the US, UK and Canada and in large retailers like Walmart, Target, Petco and PetSmart.