Economic Development Newsroom


Preston Farms and The Curehouse Begin Operations in Louisville

Monday June 18, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced Preston Farms Popcorn and The Curehouse will begin operations in Louisville, creating a total of 61 jobs and investing more than $5.3 million.

“We prioritize our economic development efforts into business sectors where we think we are or can be best in the world, and today’s announcement and our work in the food and beverage cluster is proving Louisville to be the place to be,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Preston Farms Popcorn and The Curehouse bring two distinct products to the marketplace and they will benefit from synergies created with other food producers in Louisville.”

Kentucky is home to more than 200 food and beverage-related facilities that employ more than 34,000 people. Additionally, nearly 14 percent of Kentucky’s manufacturing jobs are in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

“Preston Farms Popcorn and The Curehouse are two examples of the success Kentucky is experiencing in the food and beverage industry,” Gov. Beshear said. “These are both companies that put a lot of pride into the products they create, and we are proud to have them in the Commonwealth, with Kentucky workers at the heart of their success.”

Preston Farms Popcorn is utilizing a 22,000-square-foot facility in Louisville to pack and sell microwaveable popcorn to private labels. Additionally, the company will make customized popcorn for promotional purposes. Preston Farms Popcorn will create 51 jobs and invest $1.1 million as a result of its location.

“Since moving to Louisville, many of our customers and vendors have stopped by to see what we are doing,” said Kermit Highfield, president of Preston Farms Popcorn. “Upon touring our new facility, each of these companies has worked hard to be a partner in our future. Now, it will be fun to show both our leaders and our neighbors the clear opportunity available in our new home.”

The Curehouse acquired a 46,500-square-foot facility to process fine quality meats sourced from specialty bred and fed animals to create the highest quality products.

The company will create 10 jobs and invest $4.2 million as a result of its location.

“My business partner, Nic Heckett, and I looked at a number of places across Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia to locate The Curehouse and are extremely happy in choosing Louisville," said Jay Denham, curemaster of The Curehouse. “With the help of tax incentives, access to small family farms to rear superior quality pastured animals and the rich food culture in Louisville, this area is a great fit. I look forward to utilizing these and many other assets available locally to create a phenomenal product here in Kentucky at The Curehouse.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Louisville, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Preston Farms Popcorn for tax incentives up to $250,000 and The Curehouse for up to $100,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved The Curehouse for tax benefits up to $90,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

“This is exciting for Louisville. It speaks well of our workforce that Preston Farms Popcorn and The Curehouse chose to locate their new operations here,” said Sen. Denise Harper Angel, of Louisville. “Not only will we reap the benefits of 61 new jobs, these investments will also boost local economic growth and development.”

“I want to thank God for giving our community the kind of favor with Preston Farms Popcorn and The Curehouse that has resulted in their desire to invest so much in our community and add to Jefferson County’s rich diversity in the food industry,” said Rep. Tom Riner, of Louisville. “I’m also pleased that state and local officials could work together with them to help make this happen.”

“Food and beverage innovation is a rapidly growing strength for our region as a whole and West Louisville in particular,” said Eileen Pickett, executive vice president of Greater Louisville Inc. “Welcoming a strong exporter like Preston Farms Popcorn and an artisanally crafted company like The Curehouse into this cluster is an exciting development."

For more information on Preston Farms Popcorn, visit www.prestonfarms.com.

The Curehouse website is under construction at www.woodlandspork.com.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.

A detailed community profile for Louisville (Jefferson County) can be viewed at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=091.