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Enterprise CP: Vital Link in the Food Shelf Supply Chain
article written by Patrick Lapinski
Golden Shovel Agency Content Writer
Nearly all of our grocery shopping begins at home when we sit down to make “the list,” that hand-written scrap of paper of the food items we need to fill up our pantry. As is the case in most homes, when the shelf gets low, it’s time to go. When it comes to filling the grocery cart, we rarely question the availability of our favorite foods being on the store shelf. Questions like where does it come from and how does it get there are not usually in the thoughts of most consumers. So, you may be surprised to learn that one of the leading packagers of pasta products is located right here in Long Prairie.
Enterprise-CP, LLC. (ECP) is a newcomer to the food shelf market and is growing rapidly. In 2015 ECP was founded and leased space in the old Kmart building in Alexandria Minnesota. ECP is a packager of short-goods pasta based meals. The pastas, such as elbows, shells, and elbow spaghetti, are combined with other ingredients and packaged as food shelf style boxed and pouch meals like macaroni and cheese, and skillet dinners under the Premier Pantry brand and other private label brands. In addition to the pasta products, the firm also packages pancake mix. flake potato, and stuffing.
It didn’t take long for ECP to be bursting at the seams in the old Kmart space. Fortuitously for them, the LSC Communications building in Long Prairie became available with over triple the space. By early 2020, ECP was moving its headquarters and machinery, hiring office staff, and increasing production staff. To manage the rapidly growing operation, ECP brought Nolan Wolkow on board as president of the Long Prairie plant. Wolkow brings with him a wealth of facility management experience, most recently with SunOpta Foods in Alexandria.
Currently, ECP sources its pasta from a plant they’re leasing in Cando, North Dakota, in the heart of the durum wheat belt. The Cando plant has 2 short goods pasta lines and a flour mill. Wolkow explains that semolina is made from durum wheat which is used for making high quality pastas. The pasta arrives at the plant in Gaylord totes, large bins lined with durable polyethylene for cleanliness. In the near future Enterprise CP anticipates putting in their own press to make pasta right on site. Once the pasta is inside the facility, it is conveyed into the filling equipment where it is packaged into individual units for sale.
In Long Prairie, ECP employs around 65 full-time workers, with the occasional need for temporary contract labor based upon production volume. We have a variety of jobs within the plant, says Wolkow. “We have operators, assistant operators, maintenance techs, shipping and receiving personnel, material handlers, and palletizers, plus auxiliary help, whether it's for cleaning or making our cheese blends, or putting ingredient packets into our loading equipment.” The Long Prairie plant operates three eight-hour shifts, five days per week. There are five production lines in total.
Getting a new facility up and running, all the while expanding and dealing with the issues around the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge. After the move to Long Prairie, Wolkow is proud of the work the ECP team does to repurpose and modify their existing machinery to meet their needs. “We've got a very versatile staff with some good engineering and assembly backgrounds who have the ability to take a machine that used to do something else and modify it to meet the company’s needs.
Products from the ECP plant in Long Prairie don’t just stay in Minnesota, they go all over the country. ECP’s house brand, Premier Pantry, is distributed throughout the nation to various retailers and food bank distribution centers.
In the country’s current economic picture, the pandemic has resulted in a decrease in people eating out, resulting in a higher demand for food staples on the store shelves. Producers like ECP are running at full capacity, but for Wolkow, that’s a good problem to have. “If we had the capacity today, we could fill it,” says Wolkow. “We’re looking at putting in another production line, hopefully in the next six to eight months. That's the fun part, getting to see our business grow, taking advantage of new opportunities and working with new customers.”. “That makes it exciting every single day.” This year, Enterprise CP expects to ship about 50 million units of product out of its Long Prairie facility. Their goal is to double that in the coming year.
Chamber Director: Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst
Chamber Office Hours:
IN & OUT OF THE OFFICE- October 13, 2020
Monday-Friday 9am - 3:00pm
Please contact me at (320) 732-2514.
Location: @ the LP Library 42 3rd Street North
(click on red for google map)
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
– William James
ORDER LONG PRAIRIE WEAR TODAY!
Warmer weather is coming. Check out the caps and short sleeve shirts and show your pride in Long Prairie.
Here are a few examples; there are many more.
Long Prairie Senior Center - 320 732-2282 Manager: Jodi Dixon Email: email@example.com
They are CLOSED from March 18 till further notice.
There will be no lunches served on Thursdays.
Wellness in the Woods:
VIRTUAL WRAP SEMINAR 1 FOR SENIORS IN TODD COUNTY
OCT 13-14, 9-4:30
STAY TUNED: Some of these meetings may be postponed and/or done electronically or conference via conference calls.
City Council meetings 1st and 3rd Monday @ 7pm at City Hall
Phone #: 1-320-639-0030
Participant #: 990092
EDA board meetings 3rd Wednesday @ 4:30 at City Hall
Phone #: 1-320-639-0030
Participant #: 990092
LP Area Chamber of Commerce Board meetings: 4th Wednesday @ 4:30pm at City Hall
Phone #: 1-320-639-0030
Participant #: 990092
Todd County Commissioners meetings
(1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month 9-11am)
Location: Todd County Historic Courthouse
Go to You Tube and subscribe to the Todd County Minnesota channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN_75dJI-Oqp6k-38I4yLFQ
School Board meetings (4th Monday of the month- due to COVID-19 2nd and 4th Mondays 6pm)
Livestream on the School Website and Facebook 15min before start. http://www.lpge.org/ https://www.facebook.com/LPGESchool
Upcoming Chamber & Community Events
Long Prairie Farmers Market
Closed for the season
Thorson’s Farmers Market
Closed for the season
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Todd County Museum-
*August 5, 2020:
The museum will open for tours by appointment only on Wednesdays.
COVID RULES apply- face masks required
Call the museum to set up an appointment- 320 732 4426
@ Clotho United Methodist Church
October 15, 2020 from 4-6pm
**Must register to receive food: 218 738 5563
100 people will receive 5 nutritional meals supplied by Hilltop Regional Kitchen
ORDER your Rotary Roses today! See document below for more info:
American Lutheran: Gambia Orphan’s Shelter Fundraiser
Saturday, October 24th
@ American Legion
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm Spaghetti and Alfredo, Salad, Dessert
Free Will Offering
See doc. below:
Halloween Trick or Treat
The Chamber is planning on organizing a Downtown/HWY 71 Trick or Treat. Of course, this year it will be a bit different. Central Avenue will be blocked off on Friday, October 30, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween
If businesses would like to participate, they will need to be masked and have a table for candy at the entrance to their establishment, so that the children that come through will not need to go into the business. If a business would like to have a table on Central Avenue, they will just need to contact the Chamber. The Chamber will be calling and visiting businesses and other organizations in town to ask about whether they will be participating this year or not. Thank you for your patience.
Halloween Trunk or Treat
October 31, 2020
@ First Baptist Church 5-7pm
Long Drive In:
Check out what is playing at the Drive In- click on FB link below
Good Morning Networking Breakfast- NEXT in November
The Long Prairie Library is OPEN!
You can order items anytime at www.griver.org.
Need help ordering? Call 320.732.2332 or email your requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll order them for you!
Starting Aug 11, GRRL will be OPEN regular library hours:
Mondays and Thursdays: 1-7
Wednesdays and Fridays: 12-6
All Classes are held in A. John Peters Computer System at 221 Central Avenue Long Prairie, Suite 8 right under KEYL and KXDL radio station. All Classes are limited to 4 people with masks and social distancing is required. There will be 4 sessions of each class on the designated day. Each class will be one (1) hour and sessions start a 9:00, 10:30, 1:00 and 2:30. Classes are $15.00 with a special rate of $10.00 for people 55 and older. You may bring your own computer, phone or tablet. All classes are available at other times by request.
No Classes in November and December
Wednesday 1/6 Anti-Virus Basics
I will cover why it is important to put a good Antivirus on all of your devices.
Wednesday 1/13 Privacy on the Internet
I will discuss various methods to keep your information private on the Internet
Wednesday 1/20 Introduction to Microsoft Word
I will cover templates and basic word processing. Advanced classes by request.
Wednesday 1/27 Introduction Microsoft Excel
I will cover the basic function of Excel include the various common functions. Advanced classes by request.
Wednesday 2/3 Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint
I will cover basic templates, creating slides and creating a slideshow. Advanced classes by request.
Wednesday 2/17 Introduction to QuickBooks online.
I will cover the various versions of QuickBooks, setup, the process of creating Invoices and accepting payments, charting expenses.
Todd County Development Corporation - Business Resources during COVID 19 – Please do not hesitate to contact Rick Utech, Executive Director of Todd County Development Corporation, if you have any questions about business assistance during these difficult times.
Todd County Development Corporation
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
320-732-2128 / email@example.com
FREE public WiFi: - click here
Passing along a map of locations where CTC has made free public WiFi available at various locations for people to use during this time. CTC continues to build temporary fiber drops where able, to connect people without service and will install temporary drops to those they can. City Hall, Lake Charlotte and the LP Library parking lots are WiFi locations.
Blue dots are active locations and Red dots are planned but not active quite yet.
SBA direct information- UPDATED
CENTRACARE UPDATE- click here
WELLNESS RECOVERY ACTION PLAN 1-VIRTUAL VIA ZOOM- see below
TODD COUNTY COUNTY UPDATES- click here
Masks are available at City Hall from 8am-4:30pm.
They are FREE OF CHARGE for businesses and organizations.
If you need a digital and/or print materials related to the #MaskUpMN campaign, you can download them.
Click on this link:
Minnesota COVID-19 Response: Share Our Message For Businesses.
If you have any questions about Masks and frequently asked questions,
Click on this link: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecoverfaq.html
COMMUNITY FOOD & MEAL RESOURCES
CARING FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS AT HOME
Todd County Government Center
MORE CALENDAR EVENTS: Click - Events Calendar
Welcome New 2020 Chamber Members !
Trident Seafoods (October)
Timmerman Properties LLC (October)
Laura Wright for Office (September)
The Red Lounge Restuarant (August)
University of Minnesota Extension -Todd County (June)
Long Prairie Farmers Market (June)
VIDA - Vital Interpreting Delivering Access Inc. (March)
Hilltop Regional Kitchen (January)
Brickhouse Farm (January)
Minnesota Fresh Inc. (January)
Robbin's Nest- Hart Mall (January)
NEW- Small Business Consultants Listing!
Order Chamber Bucks to support local businesses
click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronic Sign Use and Fees Schedule
Please click the link above to download our Sign Use Policy and Fee Schedule. If you would like to use the sign (either as a Chamber Member or as a non-member) please fill out the last page of the form and enclose any payment (non-member) for use of the sign and return to the Chamber office. Thank you.
History of Long Prairie
Want More Information on Community Gardens? Call City Hall 320 732-2167 Follow this link for photos and more information about the Community Gardens.
Click on the Made in Minnesota photo to learn more about products and suppliers who are right here in Minnesota!