New Food Plant Covenance Manufacturing LLC Now Open in Owen County
8 Dec 2022
When the three owners of Covenance Manufacturing LLC were looking for where to relocate their California-based company, they knew they wanted to be in Kentucky, but where exactly in the state was still to be determined. Partners Traci Knutson, Doug Herald, and Jill Costelow found their perfect place in Owen County. The plant opened in October, and produces various different food products for distribution nationwide, including plant-based ice cream and bone broth products for both people and animals.
Finding a Perfect Location in Owen County
For Doug Herald, who was born and raised in Kentucky, there was no question in his mind this is where he wanted to relocate. With Jill Costelow, they started looking for a property.
“We basically started looking at locations and industrial areas in other parts of the state and had just decided to expand the search to all of Kentucky, when we saw the property in Owen County online. We looked at it the next morning, and the following day, we put in an offer,” said Costelow
“The location kind of chose us,” said Herald.
Covenance Manufacturing Will Bring Jobs and Investment to Owen County
The plant that was purchased by Covenance Manufacturing was the former Itron facility, which had been vacant for about two-and-a-half years. “We knew it would be great for the community to get it up and running,” said Costelow.
The plant means many new jobs in Owen County. “We’ll start with about 35 employees this year, and the goal is to grow to 300 to 350 employees in the next three to five years, while investing 25 million,” said Costelow. These employees will be a combination of general labor and advanced manufacturing. “We plan to work on creating technical jobs and a training center with the technical schools for college kids looking for a trade,” said Costelow.
In addition to year-round employees, Costelow said they hope to have opportunities for students to have summer jobs, and teach them about what manufacturing is, and about food manufacturing specifically.
A Warm Welcome in Owen County
The warm welcome that the owners of Covenance Manufacturing have received from the Owen County community has only reinforced what Herald already knew about Kentucky and why he wanted to be located there. “The people in Owen have been incredibly nice and welcoming, they really want this facility to be revitalized, and they have been willing to help in many ways,” said Costelow.
Owen County Judge/Executive Casey Ellis helped the company access the resources in the community. “We were able to use local companies as we were cleaning up the plant - for concrete, for electrical. We got them involved in the process from the beginning,” said Herald.
“It’s been overwhelming in so many aspects, I can count on one or two fingers the not-good experiences. Everything has been phenomenal. I have been blown-away by the kindness and support of our neighbors. There has been an incredible response of goodness from the county. Words cannot express all the help we’ve gotten, and how much we appreciate it,” said Herald, adding “being from Kentucky, it’s very special to be able to build this company here.”
“We also plan to give back to the community, and help it grow,” said Costelow.
Owen County and the State of Kentucky has been good to us, and it’s an honor to build this company here. Manufacturing is important to America, and we’re thrilled to be able to do it in Kentucky,” shared Herald.