L’Chef opens new facility in St. George

Grain mills on display at the opening of L'Chef's new assembly facility, St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – L’Chef announced the opening of an assembly facility in St. George Monday. It is one of the initial steps being taken by the company to relocate much of its operational base to Southern Utah over the next few years.

“L’Chef is happy to be here,” General Manager Dennis Leavitt said.

L’Chef’s is the parent company of NutriMill, which sells home grain mills, and is also the exclusive distributor for Bosch’s popular Kitchen Machines line in North America. The company has production facilities overseas, but is working to bring production of all its NutriMill products to Washington County.

The new facility, located in the St. George Industrial Park, is devoted to the production and assembly of NutriMill’s newest product called “The Harvest,” which will be available at retailers Saturday.

Leavitt said L’Chef decided to begin moving operations to St. George because of the good work environment and because it is growing.

Dennis Leavitt, L'Chef general manager, discussing The Harvest, the company's newest grain mill that will be assembled at the new facility in St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Dennis Leavitt, L’Chef general manager, discussing The Harvest, the company’s newest grain mill that will be assembled at the new facility in St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“We looked for a place that could handle business growth,” Leavitt said.

Other advantages that moving to St. George pose for L’Chef – and in turn the local economy – include being able to have plastic parts for its grain mills made at a facility in Leeds, using a local trucking company, and employing a locally-based engineer and patent attorney.

As for the new assembly facility, Jason Politowitcz, a L’Chef representative, said it currently employs about 10 people with another four to be hired by the end of the year.

City and area officials were present at the opening of the facility. Among them was Scott Hirschi, director of Site Select Plus, who talked about early cotton production in Washington County and how it brought money into the economy. He called it a primary industry that sent product to markets outside of the county and, as a result, brought money back into the county economy.

In the case of L’Chef, which Hirschi also called a primary industry, it ships product out to national and international markets.

“It’s primary industries that add value to products, as NutriMill is doing, that raise the economic bar for St. George,” Hirschi said in a statement prior to the assembly’s opening.

“I value diversification of industry in St. George,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said, adding that the city was excited to have a new corporate partner. “We look forward to a long and healthy relationship.”

Another reason L’Chef came to St. George is because it is a health-related community, Leavitt said. His company promotes healthy living and diet, particularly in relation to whole grains. He said many people who buy processed grains aren’t aware they aren’t getting the nutrition they think they are. Grains that have already been processed lack the nutrition that freshly-grown grain does, and may as well be dead by comparison, Leavitt said.

“Instead of reaching for dead white flour, you can make your own,” he said.

Just as the blending of fruits and vegetables has become big business, Leavitt said L’Chef wants to do the same with whole grains.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Killjoy September 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Instead of reaching for dead white flower, you can make your own,” he said.
    Shouldn’t it be “flour’ instead of “flower”?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic September 30, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Clearly, yes, Killjoy. Thank you and the correction has been made.

  • The Rest Of The Story September 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Nothing wrong with using freshly ground flour. Hearty bread made from freshly ground flour is tasty and nutritious. But there is also no need to demonize white flour as “dead” either. Refined, enriched flours are OK too. Some delicate foods simply cannot be made with unrefined flour. The key with both–as with any food or beverage–is moderation.

  • Betty September 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I looked up the “Site Select Plus” group. I find humor in their website description:

    The Site Select Plus private-public partnership assists and supports existing local Primary Industries expand and retain jobs. The partnership also leads recruitment efforts of value-added companies and jobs from outside the region. Director Scott Hirschi and Associate Jana Carter provide information, facilitate negotiations and remove roadblocks to make relocation or expansion to Washington County easy and painless. By working to diversify the local economy with manufacturing firms, logistics operations, customer service centers, and other Primary Industries, the Site Select Plus partnership strives to foster great jobs and careers for the citizens of the area.

    How did they help the Blue Bunny folks “retain” their jobs? How long before L’Chef folds up and goes away? Probable after the tax “incentives” Hirschi orchestrated expires.

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