Milo’s Whole World Gourmet, in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) and the Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC), today announced it will invest at least $450,000 to upgrade its facility and purchase new machinery and production equipment.
For almost 20 years, the wide variety of specialty foods manufactured in small batches by Milo’s Whole World Gourmet (Milo’s WWG) have been popular in southeast Ohio and beyond.
The company makes two brands: Vino de Milo wine-based pasta sauces and salad dressings, and Brownwood Farms, a brand encompassing a wide range of condiments, from BBQ sauces to ketchups to mustards to jams, pie fillings, fruit salsas, and more – all made with regionally-sourced ingredients. The two brands are sold in grocery and specialty stores across the nation and in several other countries as well.
In the past few years, Milo’s WWG has expanded with the addition of co-packing services – making custom products for other food companies. The branded sales and the co-pack sales have combined to propel the company to significant growth – sales are expected to almost double this year over last – and it’s now in the process of building a from-scratch facility to consolidate its operations under one roof.
The company was founded in 2003 by Jonathan Milo Leal, who is excited about leading the company into the next phase of its growth. “After almost 20 years, we’re ready to take our deep bench of expertise and combine it with a world-class production facility to gain more and larger customers,” said Leal. “We have already hired several new positions, and this growth opportunity will allow us to add even more. Our core values are integrity, respect, quality, safety and success – and we mean those as much for our employees as we do for our customers and vendors. I want this to be a place people love to work at.”
Currently made at ACEnet in Athens and shipped from the ACEnet warehouse in Nelsonville, the Milo’s WWG production will soon occur in a “building in a building” located on the Nelsonville campus of the ACEnet warehouse. As a result of this expansion, at least three new jobs will be added, with more to follow.
“Milo’s is a long-standing leader in Athens County’ food manufacturing industry,” said Mollie Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC). “Over the years, they have continued to grow product lines and expand into new markets. The ACEDC is grateful for JobsOhio’s support of the company’s new production facility through the Inclusion Grant.”
JobsOhio supported the project with a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant. The Athens County Economic Development Council and Ohio Southeast Economic Development assisted Milo’s WWG with the grant process. The Inclusion Grant exists to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. Eligibility requirement for the program can be found at jobsohio.com/why-ohio/inclusion-grant/.
Mike Jacoby, President of Ohio Southeast Economic Development, emphasized the programs strong fit for many businesses in the region. “Small businesses are important, and this program – which has been in existence for one year – enables us to support more companies so they can grow and have an even greater economic impact on Southern and Eastern Ohio.”