Fruit snack maker GoGo squeez coming to southwest Idaho

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) - A company that makes fruit snack pouches plans to open a plant in Nampa in southwest Idaho and bring at least 237 new jobs.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Nampa officials announced at a city council meeting Thursday that Materne North America has purchased a building in the city. The company makes GoGo squeeZ.

"We celebrate a lot of moments across the state, but when you have a high-quality company of this caliber join a high-quality community, you create magic," said Jeff Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce.

Nampa Economic Development Director Beth Ineck said the company plans to start making its fruit-filled squeeze packets this fall and reach full production in 2015. Eventually, she said, 60 percent of the company's fruit pouches will be distributed to North America from Nampa.

Officials said Materne North America purchased the former MPC building on Karcher Road for its new facility.

"This building has sat vacant since 2007," Ineck said. "So it's been a lot of work to try and find a great user for that facility that would bring it back to vibrancy and create a lot of fantastic jobs for our city."

She said Materne will spend about $18 million turning the building into a food processing facility and another $60 million over the next four years putting in 12 production lines.

"We appreciate the trust you (Materne) placed in our community to bring this venture here," said Nampa Mayor Bob Henry. "And you need to understand that we take this relationship very seriously and we are going to be a wonderful partner with you."

Incentives offered by state and local government entities sweetened the deal for Materne. Canyon County has contributed a five-year property tax exemption, the city is covering building and planning permit fees, the Idaho Department of Commerce provided $350,000 to the company through the Idaho Opportunity Fund, and the Idaho Department of Labor is contributing $6,000 per job created for workforce training.

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Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune