The Franklin, Wis.-based company plans to more than double its workforce over a period of years with a $70 million expansion project that will add 120,000 sq. ft to its snack manufacturing facility.

Baptista's Bakery, Franklin, Wis., is set to add production lines with a 120,000-sq.-ft. expansion at the company's factory in Franklin Business Park. The company expects to break ground in October.

The $70-million project, would nearly double the size of the 135,000-sq.-ft. facility. The company has doubled its workforce over the past three years, says Tom Howe, president, and the rate at which the new jobs will be added over a still-undetermined number of years will depend on continued sales growth. Baptista's is hiring 75 more employees, and hopes to add more workers once the expansion project is completed next spring.

Chief executive officer Nan Gardetto started Baptista's in 2000, one year after her family sold Milwaukee-based snack mix maker Gardetto's Bakery Inc. to General Mills Inc. It started making its own brand of breadsticks and did some contract manufacturing work, but the product line was later dropped to focus exclusively on developing and making snacks for other companies. The company's healthier baked snacks include pretzels, potato crisps, breadsticks, multigrain chips and veggie chips.