PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 17

the '70s after selling Tuffy's to new owners. After changing
ownership several times through the years, Tuffy's
Pet Foods was on the cusp of shuttering in 2001, when
the owners at the time threatened to close the plant in
Perham, Minn. At the time, Kenny was running the salty
snack and candy business in Perham. Not wanting to see
the pet food facility close and having around 150 employees
in the community out of work, Kenny bought
back the company and Tuffy's Pet Food lived on.
Around the same time, Kenny's son Charlie - the
third generation of the Nelson family - joined KLN
Family Brands and started to work on the pet food side
of the business. One of his earliest accomplishments
was helping to develop the company's flagship brand,
NutriSource.
Tuffy's Pet Food, Inc., is now part of a 16-acre camdirector,
KLN Family Brands. " Flexibility in the plant
was key. Putting canning in a treat facility, when it wasn't
the original plan, would never have been possible without
built-in flexibility. "
Family first
Flexibility has been part of the Nelson family's mantra
long before the move to Delano. The family adjusted its
business plans year after year following its start in 1964.
After starting in the pet food business in the '60s, the
company added salty and sweet snacks to its repertoire
when Barrel O' Fun Snack Food opened in 1973. By
1987, the company added candy to the lineup with the
formation of Kenny's Candy & Confection (named after
founder Darrell " Tuffy " Nelson's son, Kenny, who later
served as chief executive officer of the family business).
KLN Enterprises was created in 1995 and Tuffy's Pet
Food, Kenny's Candy & Confection and Barrel O' Fun
all became separate operating divisions.
The Nelsons moved away from the pet food game in
pus in Perham, featuring a 600,000-square-foot processing,
packaging and warehousing facility, which
now manufactures NutriSource, NutriSource PureVita,
NutriSource Element Series and NutriSource Choice
products for independent pet specialty retail stores and
Supreme, Tuffy's and Tuffy's Gold brands, primarily for
grocery stores. The six branded lines feature dry, wet and
baked foods, biscuits, jerky and semi-moist treats for
dogs and cats. Production at the Perham plant includes
both company-owned brands and co-manufactured
products for partners.
In 2015, Tuffy's opened a new $70 million,
180,000-square-foot dry pet food manufacturing facility.
Since then, the company has also added an $8 million
meat processing operation and a $35 million mill expansion
and renovation. The Tuffy's name and its massive
manufacturing campus is a prominent mainstay in
Perham. The complex spans more than six city blocks
in downtown Perham and runs parallel to the railroad
tracks that run through town.
In 2019, when the company set out to expand into the
pet treat side of the business and plans for expansion
surfaced again, the company opted away from continuing
to build onto the Perham plant. The plant was producing
more than 150,000 tons of dry pet food annually
and did not have room to expand cpacilities within the
exisiting facility footprint. Additionally, employment in
Perham was at an all-time high. So, the company began
searching beyond its homebase to find a home for its
newest endeavor - the Tuffy's Treat Company plant.
Three hours away
The search for a site for the new pet treat facility began
in early 2019. Charlie Nelson, the current chief executive
officer of KLN Family Brands, literally hit the road
to find the plant's new home.
The company felt from a shipping and trucking perwww.petfoodprocessing.net
| June 2022 | PET FOOD PROCESSING 17
Tuffy's Treat
Company broke
ground on its new
pet treat facility in
August 2019 and
started operations
14 months later.
Photography by CRB
http://www.petfoodprocessing.net

PET Food Processing - June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - June 2022

PET Food Processing - June 2022 - Intro
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 1
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 2
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 3
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 4
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 5
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 6
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 7
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 8
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PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 17
PET Food Processing - June 2022 - 18
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https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/-pet-food-processing-june-2022
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-march-2022
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-december-2021
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https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-september-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-june-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-march-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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