A Half-Century in Crete, Nebraska | Nestlé Careers
Our Founder, William H. Danforth, once said, “My memory gives me a thrill when I think of our history. My imagination runs riot as I think of the ’day after tomorrow’.”
The first Purina pet food cans rolled off the production line in August 1965 in a 37,000 square-foot building with approximately 60 associates who produced five SKUs of ALPO® dog food. Allen Products, Inc. built our Crete, Nebraska factory to expand its growing business into the states between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. This is where many of our associates find convenience in larger city living in Lincoln and embrace the short commute to the quainter city of Crete.
More than 50 years later, our factory in Crete employs over 500 associates and produces more than 190 varieties of cat and dog food distributed to all 50 states and internationally. It’s notably one of the largest wet pet food manufacturing facilities in the U.S., producing over one thousand tons of pet food per day. The majority of the raw materials used in this factory are still sourced from the immediate region, which is one of the reasons Allen Products looked to Nebraska for expansion.
Since 1965, associates’ dedication, training, and leadership have very much become part of the fabric of the Crete community, and our factory operations have led to the creation of numerous career opportunities and businesses within the area. As their first customer, the factory gave Crete Carrier Corporation, one of the largest trucking firms in America, its start. Duane Acklie, former chairman, Crete Carrier Corporation, stated, “This was a godsend. This plant was a godsend to Crete and still is.”
Through their distinguished efforts and involvement, our Crete associates have continually supported community activities on the city council, planning commission, city boards, and university and state advisory committees. They have volunteered in local schools, fire departments, youth programs, and civic organizations in Crete and surrounding communities. This team is a testament to Nestlé Purina’s commitment to our communities and nurturing a better, stronger environment.
In his comments during an interview for our 50th celebration in 2015, Kyle McGowan, then Superintendent of Crete Public Schools, reiterated, “When I just went down the hallway [at the factory], I know several people and talk about how their families are doing. That’s what makes this business part of the community. I know there are people from Nestlé Purina on the city council. There are people from Nestlé Purina who are involved in every aspect of the community.”
In line with Mr. Danforth’s quote, it’s more than likely that the original decision makers and community leaders who brought the expansion of ALPO® to Crete would be thrilled to see the factory’s accomplishments and the positive impact our associates have made within their community. And, seeing how it has grown and flourished since 1965, imagine what impact and involvement our team and factory will have made by 2065!
If you’d like to learn more about living and working in Crete, Nebraska we encourage you to visit our website.