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Hickory Farms shifts offices to downtown Toledo

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Hickory Farms Inc. food gift packages are a staple for the firm, which is moving its headquarters from Maumee to downtown Toledo.

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Hickory Farms Inc. is relocating its headquarters from Maumee to downtown Toledo.

The company signed a 10-year lease for the fifth floor of the Hylant Building, 811 Madison Ave. and plans to move in mid-August. About 50 full-time employees are expected to be part of the move.

"Toledo is the epicenter of northwest Ohio. It is an important center for innovation, transportation, and culture," Hickory Farms CEO Mark Rodriguez said in a release. "We want to become one of the spokes in the wheel working hard to improve Toledo's competitiveness and reputation."

Hickory Farms has been in Maumee since the early 1970s, said Michael Holton, the company's vice president of brand marketing. Its current headquarters are on Perrysburg-Holland Road, in the Arrowhead Industrial Park.

Mr. Holton said Hickory Farms had sold its headquarters to a technical college, but he said he didn't know the name of the college. He would not reveal the sale price of the 60,000-square-foot facility, which was more than the company needed.

"We wanted to be a part of the group to revitalize the downtown because we feel like it's important to the city and we feel like the area has been great to us," he said. "When we knew we were going to be aiming for an new space, we never looked outside northwest Ohio."

Three jobs affiliated with the company's current facility will be eliminated in the move, Mr. Holton said. The 9,000 square feet in the Hylant Building will allow for a more open flow of communication and creativity among employees, he said.

The move also will allow the company to save on energy and maintenance costs, Mr. Holton said.

The company formerly had a warehouse and distribution center in Maumee, but those operations were moved to Illinois in 2007.

Hickory Farms, which sells specialty foods and holiday food gifts, began in 1951 when founder Richard Ransom started selling cheese at local fairs. It is now owned by Sun Capital Partners Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.

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