Marson Foods, a manufacturer of waffle products for K12 and foodservice, has opened its new $35 million, 147,000-square-foot baking facility in Hazelwood, MO. The modern distribution facility includes 12,000 square feet of fully automated freezer capacity, end-to-end research and development capabilities, automated production lines to increase sales capacity, and space for five additional production lines.

Marson Foods co-owner Jan Marson says she believes her company is poised for growth. 

“Our facility’s advanced technologies will allow us to continue to use the highest quality ingredients to create millions of nutritious meals,” she comments. 

Marson says the company can also assist potential private label and co-manufacturing customers with full end-to-end product formulation, helping them get from concept to ready for market, all in-house: “With our R&D capabilities and space for additional production lines, we are eager to expand our offerings and excited about the prospect of new partnerships for co-manufacturing and private label clients.”

MarsonFoods_inside.jpgMarson Foods began operations at the Hazelwood facility in October 2023, hiring 16 employees at a salary above the average for St. Louis County. It is currently producing 420 waffles per minute (roughly 25,000 per hour) with a capacity of 150 million waffles a year.

Tyler Wallace, COO of Marson Foods, says the level of automation in the new facility is second to none. 

“We custom-tailored the facility infrastructure as well as our processes with full automation in mind. In addition, we hand-picked some of the top equipment vendors in the world to be a part of this project,” Wallace comments. “Starting with a raw material handling and traceability system, automated mixing system, authentic Belgian waffle line, and oven manufactured in Belgium, packaging systems from Switzerland, as well as end-of-line robotics and conveying from the US. The on-site refrigeration for finished goods storage also includes a fully automatic ASRS system to eliminate personnel from working in the harsh freezer environment.” He adds, “All in all, the decision to leverage automation allows us to maintain the highest level of food safety and quality at a lower price point to the consumer.”

Marson Foods co-owner Dave Marson says he believes Hazelwood is a smart strategic location for his company and any of its potential customers. 

“Hazelwood offers an experienced workforce, and logistically we are perfectly geographically situated to pair grain and flour producers with our advanced manufacturing lines,” he says. “With easy access to many major highways and extensive freezer storage space, the new facility opens up many co-manufacturing opportunities for us.”

The Marsons’ previous company, Nature’s Bakery, operated out of a facility in Hazelwood before it was sold to healthy snack brand, KIND, a member of the Mars family of companies. Marson Foods’ new facility is located at 1590 Tradeport Drive in Hazelwood.

Related: Kind announces acquisition of better-for-you snacking company Nature's Bakery