Area company to add 70 jobs with expansion

Henny Penny to expand its world headquarters in Preble County
An area company that makes frying equipment for most of the fast food industry will expand its world headquarters in Eaton and eventually add 70 new jobs with the expansion.

Henny Penny Corp. began construction Monday on the 150,000-square-feet project — representing a 35 percent increase in space — at the company’s Preble County campus at 1219 U.S. 35.

“We’re on an accelerated growth pace as we continue powering the world’s most demanding kitchens,” Rob Connelly, chief executive of Henny Penny, said. “The expansion of our Eaton-based world headquarters with additional space for production, innovation and employee well-being sets us up for another 62 years of success.”

The company makes frying equipment for restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC and Chick-fil-A.

“JobsOhio plans to assist the project, which will be made public after a final agreement is executed,” JobsOhio spokesman Matthew Englehart said Monday.

The expansion will be a multi-part endeavor adding 150,000 square feet to its Eaton building and renovating 25,000 square feet of the company’s Wagner building, said Alex Morgan, Henny Penny vice president of brand, said Monday before the company’s groundbreaking event.

“Our legacy is state-of-the-art production and making the lives of restaurant operators better by bringing them innovative solutions,” Steve Maggard, the company’s executive vice president, said. “This expansion will help us continue developing the world’s most reliable, easy-to-use equipment.”

In December, Henny Penny announced a leadership restructuring, with Connelly promoting two executives, Maggard and Carolyn Wall, each to the position of executive vice president.

With about 600 workers in Preble County, Henny Penny has food preparation equipment in more than 100 countries, serving dining chains, health care facilities; supermarkets; and more. The company also has facilities in Paris, France and Sohzou, China.

“In addition to expanding our production and innovation capabilities, our expanded space will support our efforts to help all employees be the best version of themselves,” said Jennifer Leen, Henny Penny’s director of well-being.

Nearly five years ago, Henny Penny embarked on a $7.5 million expansion, adding 44,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to facilities in Eaton.

Founded in 1957, Henny Penny became an employee-owned company in 2015.

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