Janotta & Herner
- Written by: Kadie Jepsen
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Janotta & Herner (JHI) is a design-build general contractor that was founded in 1962 by Bob Janotta and Jim Herner. JHI now has a team of registered design professionals, architects, CAD designers, estimators, engineers and tradesmen who accommodate projects falling under commercial and industrial descriptions.
The Ohio-based company prides itself on its design-build expertise, which allows JHI to control the project from concept to completion. That specific design-build expertise was used in one of JHI’s more extended projects, the Pepperidge Farm expansion in Willard, Ohio.
How it all began
“We have been doing a lot of work with Pepperidge Farm for some years,” explains Robb Harst, director of public relations and advertising. “When the new project came up, we were considered pretty quickly based on our past record with the company.” In fact, JHI works predominantly with repeat clients, almost 92 percent, which come back because of the quality of work shown by the company.
The Pepperidge Farm expansion began in spring 2013 and will be complete in early 2015. “This is a multifaceted project,” Harst says. “We have expanded warehouse space and doubled the size of their production area.”
JHI will double the production line, allowing the facility to produce the beloved goldfish crackers at an even quicker rate. The additional warehouse space and production area will be included in the 227,000 square feet of expansion.
The expansion project is so large that major assistance is needed. “We have tons of subcontractors here,” Harst explains. “These are standard local subcontractors that we have been using for quite a while.” The bids for contractors were sent out, but Harst says that most of the subcontractors working on the project are ones that the company has been working with for a long time.
The expansion will cost approximately $93 million and is one of the largest projects that JHI has ever worked on. “It definitely is one of the largest; we worked with Heinz many years ago doing a half million square-foot warehouse in Fremont, Ohio,” says Harst.
The company works in a 50-mile radius of its office in Monroeville, Ohio, which allows the team to supply jobs with pieces and parts within one hour.
Harst reflects on how the project really influenced the company. “Working with a national company like Pepperidge Farm is always exciting,” he says. “I think that puts a feather in any contractor’s cap.”
Having a project of that size and magnitude in a city such as Willard, a somewhat rural community, is great for JHI. Furthermore, it is great for the overall region, as well, in regards to job creation in the area. “The expansion is far-reaching and even though we self-perform our own work, there are a large number of different trades involved in the overall expansion,” Harst continues.
Harst says that he has hopes this project will become a catalyst for future projects of similar size and nature in the Willard area. “This will hopefully bring more companies that are looking to locate in an area where there is growth; this expansion is one way for that growth to take place,” he details.
In the upcoming years JHI has hopes for continued growth. The Pepperidge Farm expansion provides hope for the company and for the economic outlook in the community, as well. “From 2008 and on has been a real struggle for a lot of companies,” Harst says. “We definitely see a marked improvement in our local economy that filters down from every facet of industry down to the local guy working his everyday job.” Keeping such a loyal and strong customer base allowed JHI to remain successful even in the previous economic downturn.
JHI has been in business for 52 years and has developed a reputation for exceeding its customers’ expectations. With over 300 jobs completed a year, JHI values all of its projects. Even though the company covers a 50-mile radius, the projects that it has completed are remarkable.
The Pepperidge Farm expansion will add incredible space to the existing warehouse, as well as creating numerous jobs and economic benefits for the people of Willard, Ohio. JHI is an employee-owned company, meaning that each of its employees have a stake in the success of the jobs that are being performed. Janotta & Herner is committed to every facet, from employees to customers.
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