Former Del Monte can plant sold to pet-food maker

Del Monte

A pet-food entrepreneur has purchased a former Del Monte canning factory that closed down almost two years ago.

Stephen Trachtenberg paid $2.6million for the plant in Minnesota, which was chiefly used to can sweet corn and had 70 full-time workers, with between 200 and 300 seasonal workers during harvest time. It closed in October 2019.

“For me that facility represents endless runway,” Trachtenberg said. “You can’t build that building for what we paid for it.”

The 51-year-old owns about a dozen businesses that form a vertically integrated operation whose end products are sold under his labels — Chasing Our Tails, Alive Pet Food and Venison Joe’s — and under contract to other pet food makers.

“We’re going to bring all of our packaging, warehouse and distribution to Sleepy Eye and this will become the world headquarters,” he said. “We have a rail spur at this site, hundreds of thousands of square feet of space. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

Seneca Foods, maker of Libby’s and other brands of vegetables, bought the Sleepy Eye facility from Del Monte in early 2020 for about $2 million. Trachtenberg began negotiating with Seneca for the plant last winter.

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