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St. Louis-Based Manufacturer Volpi Foods Expands Operations Again in Missouri

Proudly based in St. Louis since 1902, Volpi Foods, a fourth-generation women-owned family charcuterie business took advantage of Ameren Missouri’s competitive energy rates and a special incentive to expand operations for a second time in Union, Missouri.

For a family-owned business, expansion is thrilling. And Volpi Foods is getting another thrill.

The Volpi family continues to carry on the traditions of founder John Volpi, hand-making all products using the same methods and recipes that John did over 100 years ago.

When looking to add an additional production line to their facilities to support expanded product reach around the country, Volpi Foods knew they wanted to keep operations here in St. Louis. Since its inception, the original location has been in a long-established Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis called The Hill.

In 2016, Volpi built two new buildings in nearby Union, Missouri with plans for future expansion. But they were only operating in one building, and inside the second building, roughly 60% of the space wasn’t being utilized. In this most recent expansion, Volpi worked with Ameren Missouri to determine how they could move the packaging portion of their operation to this location as well.

Economic Development in Missouri Flourishes with Team Approach

Jeff Hasting, an Ameren Missouri Regional Account Executive for Washington and Franklin Counties, discovered that Volpi Foods was considering further expansion plans.

After listening to Volpi’s plans for the expansion of both the production and packaging lines, Hasting consulted the Ameren Missouri Economic Development team to determine how the two could partner to make Volpi’s vision a reality.

The Ameren Missouri team analyzed the facility's usage and load factor and determined that Volpi qualified for a then-active version of the Economic Development Incentive (EDI). This incentive, coupled with energy retail rates that are lower than national averages (currently 19% lower), were key elements to moving plans from the concept stage to implementation—ultimately keeping the growing business in Missouri.

Using a set of criteria, the Ameren Missouri team was also able to connect Volpi Foods with the city of Union, Missouri, which provided a local incentive to expand.

Achieving Cost Savings with Low Ameren Missouri Energy Rates and Incentives

Volpi Foods met the requirements for the Economic Development Incentive (EDI) program, a partnership between Ameren Missouri and qualifying new and existing businesses seeking to locate or expand in Missouri. The incentive aims to reduce intermediate-term energy costs and encourage investment in energy-efficient technologies.

"Beyond the cost savings we can invest back into the business, we're particularly grateful to be partnering with Ameren Missouri in this important stage of our expansion," said Dylan Puricelli, engineering manager for Volpi Foods. "Having the EDI program already in place will inspire more energy-efficient options for any new electrically powered equipment and ensure we're moving in the right direction."

Volpi is currently in discussions with Ameren partners about their aging equipment, including water heaters and broilers inside their location at The Hill. They are considering programs and services Ameren Missouri offers to replace outdated equipment in an energy-efficient manner.

Ameren Missouri will continue to review Volpi Foods’ power usage at the end of two years and then annually after that. Depending on the results, Volpi Foods could continue to receive a 35% discount on power usage above its existing baseline for up to five years.

Competitive retail rates for Ameren Missouri customers, currently 19% below national averages according to the latest Edison Electric Institute Typical Bills and Average Rates Report, make Missouri an attractive place to do business.

Local Expansion Helps Economic Development for the Area

“Economic development is a team sport. This project is an example of how customers can work with Ameren to discover opportunities to grow their business they didn't know were available,” said Lincoln Stoll, Business Development Executive for Economic Development at Ameren Missouri.

“Through connecting with their Regional Account Executive, Volpi was made aware of the incentives available to them and then partnered with expert advisors to fill out the application and work with the City of Union for the local incentive and other incentive requirements. Our connections with strategic partners helped make the process smooth.”

The local synergy and collaboration provided an ideal opportunity for Volpi Foods to continue producing high-quality charcuterie meats while deepening its roots in its beloved local community. Expanding the company's operations in this efficient, proactive way also supports Volpi's strong commitment to sustainability.

Missouri Job Creation and Expansion: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

With the $7 million expansion, six additional jobs were created as a direct result of the project and 30 jobs were an indirect result of its completion.

There are other opportunities for Volpi Foods to work with Ameren energy experts on solutions that could help them meet their business goals—like opportunities for energy efficiency gains, renewable energy usage and EV charging.

Keeping manufacturing locally in Missouri benefits the entire St. Louis community. It showcases the teamwork and grit that St. Louis is known for and helps the city shine for other interested businesses.

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