Dippin’ Dots LLC, a Paducah-based cryogenically frozen ice cream producer, will expand its operation in McCracken County with a $3.3 million investment expected to create up to 28 full-time jobs, Gov. Matt Bevin announced.
“Dippin’ Dots has become an iconic brand within the ice cream industry, and we are proud they have built their brand from here in Kentucky over the past 30-plus years,” Gov. Bevin said. “The commonwealth and its skilled workforce offer the ideal recipe for economic growth, as innovative, proven companies like Dippin’ Dots can attest. We congratulate Dippin’ Dots and the Paducah region on this latest expansion, and we look forward to many more years of sweet success.”
Dippin’ Dots will expand to accommodate demand for its patented cryogenic technology. The technology has been found to be instrumental in producing ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives and other new industries that require high-volume cryogenic freezing. Dippin’ Dots plans to purchase a 6,000-square-foot building near its current operation on Industrial Drive in Paducah to accommodate the expansion. The space will include a new manufacturing floor, freezers, office and storage space. Company leaders expect the expansion to be operational at some point in 2020.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand our portfolio of products and services to industries outside our core products,” said Stan Jones, chief development officer at Dippin’ Dots. “This opportunity provides diversity in our portfolio and will continue to provide additional growth opportunities for our company and the region.”
Dippin’ Dots, headquartered in Paducah since its inception in 1991, was founded by microbiologist Curt Jones and specializes in unconventional ice cream that first gained popularity at amusement parks throughout the US and, by the mid-1990s, Japan. The company now operates locations across the US, with products available in more than 100 shopping center and store locations and more than 1,000 amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, movie theaters and other entertainment venues. Dippin’ Dots ice cream has been available through home delivery since 2004, and since the company’s acquisition by family-owned Fischer Enterprises in 2012, Dippin’ Dots ice cream has also become available at over 12,000 drug and convenience store locations. Currently, the company employs 185 people at its headquarters, including 126 Kentuckians.
Sen. Danny Carroll, of Paducah, said the company has established roots in the community.
“Dippin’ Dots has had a rich history since it located here in Paducah during the early 1990s. That is why I am pleased that they have chosen to invest and expand here,” Sen. Carroll said. “Their expansion will create 28 jobs for the people of Paducah and will further promote responsible economic development.”
Rep. Randy Bridges, of Paducah, expressed gratitude for the company’s commitment to the local workforce.
“This multi-million dollar expansion is exciting news not only for Paducah, but also for this proud business that has contributed so much to our local economy,” Rep. Bridges said. “I want to congratulate Dippin’ Dots on the continued growth of their company, and thank them for their investment in our citizens and community.”
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless said the company has been a reliable local business over the years.
“Dippin’ Dots is a staple business in Paducah and the region. Their continued innovation is inspiring, and we are proud they choose to call Paducah home,” Mayor Harless said. “This expansion is exciting, and I look forward to watching the growth of Dippin’ Dots for years to come.”
McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer thanked the company for its continued presence in Paducah as it grows into new markets.
“Dippin’ Dots is a great example of a successful business growing from a creative entrepreneurial concept, homegrown in McCracken County,” Judge-Executive Clymer said. “We are thankful for the Company’s support of our community as a strong employer and good neighbor; and for its commitment to continue to expand both product and presence internationally, while maintaining its roots here at home.”
Glen Anderson, interim president and CEO of Greater Paducah Economic Development, said the Dippin’ Dots business model provides a framework for other homegrown companies to find success.
“A key component of economic development is recruiting businesses who will provide sustainable employment and economic opportunity to the region,” Anderson said. “Dippin’ Dots is an example of a company who has done that well. Their commitment to diversification and continued growth makes them a company we will proudly use as an example in future recruitment and economic development efforts. On behalf of GPED, its board and investors, we thank them for their continued investment into our region and for making Paducah their corporate home.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $600,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Dippin’ Dots can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.