Detroit based VernDale Products Inc., a manufacturer of rolled dried milk powder is opening a second plant on 18940 Weaver St., once home to Detroit Pure Milk Company. The $16 million expansion is made possible, in part, by a $436,000 state approved Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The location will create 13 new jobs.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that typically a Michigan Business Development Program grant requires that a business create at least 50 new jobs but in the case of VernDale, they agreed to waiver such guidelines because it is an agriculture processing company working on a large expansion, and agriculture projects typically do not create the level of jobs that trigger such a grant.

“We are looking forward to being a part of Detroit’s revitalization,” company president Dale Johnson told the Michigan Strategic Fund board.

The company manufactures milk powder used primarily in the manufacturing of chocolate candy. They use a process called roller-drying or drum-drying and is said to the only company in the U.S. to make their product with this process. VernDale has five such dryers at its present location on Lyndon Street but is unable to keep up with the demand.

Johnson added that the new facility will make it possible for the company to export its product, something that has not been possible in the past.

Renovation on the new location will begin this year.

Source: Crain’s Detroit Business