Located in Pawnee City, Nebraska and Bern, Kansas CJ Foods Completes Plant Expansion with 230 Employees at Present
C.J. Foods, Inc. was founded in 1985 in Pawnee City as a supplier of custom manufacturing services to marketers of human food products.
The company was named after the owners at that time, who were Chuck and Joyce Kuenzi. The company was operated out of a small plant at the current Pawnee City location and employed only five people at the time. In 1988, Chuck Kuenzi, suddenly passed away leaving the company to be managed by his son John Kuenzi.
By the early 90’s the company had made a full transition from manufacturing human foods and snacks to producing only Super Premium Pet Foods. In August of 1995 C.J. Foods broke ground for a new factory and by March of 1996 was producing its first products from the new factory. This was the first of what have been many investments in the growth of the company.
In 1999, C.J. Foods embarked upon a $5.5 million project that expanded the warehouse and added specialized packaging lines that run a variety of packages including re-closeable stand-up pouches.
In September of 2001 the company purchased their second plant in Bern, Kansas, which had been closed by its former owner Doane Pet Care and C.J. Foods immediately began a multi million dollar project to renovate and expand the building while adding new production and packaging equipment. The Bern plant has undergone two additional significant expansion projects since that time to meet their ever expanding growth.
In December 2010 C.J. Foods began construction of another new production plant on the Pawnee City campus. By October 2011 the more than $20 million production plant that included the latest in technological and operational design was complete and operational. This new plant is designed to be expanded as additional production lines are needed.
The employees in all facilities continually prove themselves to be skilled professionals with extensive experience and knowledge in the development and manufacturing of extruded pet food products. At the Pawnee City site Kris Snyder is the plant manager and he has been with the company for over 15 years and makes his home in Pawnee City. Tom Lumpkins joined the company last year as the Plant Manager at the Bern site while he and his family make their home in Seneca, Kansas. Long time Pawnee City native, Tim Friesel is the Director of Manufacturing which includes responsibility for the operations at all three plants.
C.J. Foods currently employs over 230 employees and with their current size and growth strategies are always seeking talented individuals to join the team. The company has grown from a small fledgling business to one that commands the respect of an entire industry while offering a wide variety of career path opportunities.
Tod Morgan is currently the President and CEO of C.J. Foods and has served in many roles since joining the company in 1995. Morgan says the company has aggressive growth plans for 2012 and beyond as they continue to serve the ever growing pet food market in the United States and all over the world. Morgan continued by saying that “the heart and soul of our business and its success is the result of having great talent in our people”.