Heartland Produce Co.a Kenosha-based wholesale manufacturing company that recently completed construction of a new $29 million headquarters facility on the former dog track site at Dairyland Greyhound Park has been named the 2022 Business of the Year by Kenosha Area Business Alliance.
Heartland Produce highlights the list of winners for KABA’s annual Ovation Awards, which return after a two-year hiatus to recognize top-performing Kenosha County businesses and business leaders, and their support of the community. Winners are chosen by a selection committee that includes previous Ovation Award winners, KABA staff and board members, BizTimes Media, and representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College and Carthage College.
Ovation Awards winners will be recognized at a banquet event on Thursday, Nov. 3, at UW-Parkside. BizTimes Media is the media sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Johnson Financial Group AND UW-Parkside.
Founded in 1989 in Elgin, Illinois, Heartland Produce Co. moved to the Kenosha Industrial Park in 1994. The family-owned business distributes fruits, vegetables, organic and locally grown produce to grocery stores. Earlier this year, the company completed construction of a $29 million, 200,000-square-foot distribution and headquarters facility in Greeneway Corporate Park on the former site of Dairyland Greyhound Park. The company moved into the facility in May and also invested more than $1 million in new equipment.
Other Ovation Award winners:
Marian Darsotpresident and CEO of Nexus Pharmaceuticals, is the entrepreneur of 2022. A Lincolnshire, Illinois-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, Nexus Pharmaceuticals in 2021 completed construction of a $100 million, 85,000-square-foot facility in Pleasant Prairie. The facility represents the first phase of a multi-phase $250 million project that will be completed in 10 years. The facility is expected to bring over 77 new jobs in a variety of job functions in the areas of high-tech manufacturing and science by this year, creating more than 400 new long-term local jobs.
Finishing & Plating Service, Inc. is the Small Business of the Year 2022. The Kenosha-based fourth-generation family business has specialized in metal finishing since its founding in 1952. The company works with zinc, zinc-cobalt, tin, phosphate and passivation. There are six classification lines operating in three shifts, five days a week.
Forward Award 2022 winners (companies or organizations that have expanded, invested in, or developed programs or initiatives that helped move Kenosha County forward):
University of Herzingwhich moved its Kenosha campus to downtown Kenosha in 2020. Milwaukee-based Herzing is a founding partner of the KELA-Kenosha Development Leaders Academy, a new building and program that will work directly with youth unserved of Kenosha.
Kenosha Creative Spacea non-profit organization in Kenosha committed to creating economic opportunities for local artists, musicians, creatives, entrepreneurs and local partner organizations.
Land-Quest Realty, a Kenosha-based real estate developer that purchased and renovated the former Weiskopf School, one of the oldest buildings in Kenosha, into apartments. She has also rebuilt other buildings into apartments.
Kutzler Express, Inc.a Kenosha-based trucking company that in the past two years has added 63 more employees, purchased property for a new terminal, doubled profit margins and increased revenue by 52%.
Liftpro LLC, a Kenosha-based company that offers a line of aerial lifts for lease or purchase and has invested more than $3.5 million over the past three years in additional trucks, vans and rental equipment. Over the past 14 years it has grown its annual revenue from $400,000 to more than $6 million, and its number of employees from 3 to 14.