At the first of this year, national pet treat manufacturer Redbarn moved to Great Bend, occupying the massive plant vacated by Great Bend Packing.
Now, the company wants to make its presence known to local residents. Although it markets its products nationwide, it is selling them at RB Tellers, 1210 Main, an outlet variety store that is part of the MyTown project.
"We wanted the community to understand what Redbarn is and what we do," said Tim Fabits, the company’s vice president of sales. The RB Tellers store front made the ideal location to showcase the wide array of specialty treats it makes.
"We also wanted to show our commitment to the community and strengthen our ties," Fabits said. Several Redbarn officials were in town Thursday helping to set up the displays.
Jan Peters, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce executive director, helped coordinate the project. She said having the items in the store would be a long-term arrangement.
Great Bend Packing parent company John Morell announced in February 2009 that it would close the facility, laying off 275-some employees. It wasn’t on the market long before Redbarn found out about it. Officials made several trips to Great Bend to negotiate a deal.
"Kansas really bent over backwards to get us here," Fabits said. Redbarn was located in Long Beach, Calif. But, it was not a business-friendly environment and the company had out grown its building there.
The positive work ethic of area residents and lower taxes helped lure the company. Plus, the building was almost move-in ready.
Started in 1993, Redbarn is now a $40 million company. It sells its products in major pet, drug store and grocery store chains.
In addition to RB Tellers, other businesses in the MyTown project include Perks Coffee Shop, Treaders (a deli), Miss Pretty Pickles (a jewelry boutique), Renue Salon and Spa and Mainstream Boutique (a women’s clothing shop).