King Arthur Flour

Our strong relationship with GMEDC is like outsourcing that government-focused aspect so I don’t have to split my vision.

As one of the Upper Valley’s most successful businesses, employee-owned King Arthur Flour is growing by nurturing a nationwide following of devoted customers. As such, company president Steve Voigt keeps his focus where it belongs: benefitting the company’s stakeholders by meeting those customers’ needs.

karthr2-testimonGMEDC has played an important role in the Norwich-based company’s success by helping keep that focus sharp, says Mr. Voigt. In the absence of major business-advocacy groups devoted to the 30-town region served by GMEDC, he said, there is a real need for its role as a facilitator of job-growth and prosperity. Some businesses and business owners are very politically interested, whereas we’re very customer-oriented, he said. Our strong relationship with GMEDC is like outsourcing that government-focused aspect so I don’t have to split my vision.

That outsourcing has had a positive impact on King Arthur Flour over the past 15 years, helping the company to expand its presence in Norwich, train employees, and keep its operations in Vermont. This building is an example of our collaboration with GMEDC back 15 years ago, Mr. Voigt noted, as the smells of fresh bread and coffee filled The Baker’s Store and Cafe.

GMEDC knows our business, and knows what programs are out there, so they can give me the short list of what might make sense for our needs in a given situation.

King Arthur Flour, Green Mountain Economic Development, economic development, Vermont grants, business loansThey helped us leverage programs available through the State that were not widely known, Mr. Voigt said, adding that GMEDC’s effort went far beyond mere referrals. They helped us build the business case that outlined just how it would be worth our time to apply for the programs, and worked elbow-to-elbow with us on the paperwork and other aspects of the process.

More recently, Mr. Voigt said, GMEDC has actively worked with the company as it seeks to expand its facilities. Working with a company whose customers are nationwide, and has a culture of looking under every rock, was easy for

[GMEDC Executive Director] Joan Goldstein, he said. She has been helping us since the very earliest stages of the process.

By presenting a wide array of options and scenarios, GMEDC and King Arthur Flour collaboratively narrowed the possibilities, and the company is now expending significant resources on exploring an expansion of its current campuses in Norwich and Hartford.

But GMEDC’s work isn’t done yet, says Mr. Voigt. During the next stage, GMEDC helps advise and counsel us on how to work through the often frustrating process of dealing with government permitting, evaluations, approvals and so forth, he said.

Like any savvy executive who has steered a company to growth and success, Mr. Voigt takes nothing for granted when it comes to company practices; he won’t do something a second time just because it worked the first time. So yes, GMEDC has helped King Arthur Flour in the past, but it’s still proving itself with every new interaction. We routinely look at what options are out there, and what makes sense for us at any given time, said Mr. Voig

GMEDC knows our business, and knows what programs are out there, so they can give me the short list of what might make sense for our needs in a given situation.