A five generation family-owned business will be passing the torch to a new company.
As one of the largest employers in Crawford County, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC is leaving its mark on the Meadville community, but major changes are in the works.
Meadville’s Mayor, LeRoy Stearns, says, “…your heart sinks because it’s the sixth largest employer in the county.”
Shock waves spreading throughout the city of Meadville as Crawford County residents learn Ainsworth will soon have new owners. The JM Smucker company is purchasing Ainsworth in a cash deal valued at $1.9 billion.
Community members say the news comes with mixed emotions. Resident Jonathan Myers says, “I’ve known it as, ‘Dad’s Dog Food,’ which, to me, that’s what it always will be no matter who owns it or who buys it or what it’s called.”
Stearns tells us though he was saddened by the news of Ainsworth closing, he’s optimistic about the transition and thinks the new ownership will be an asset to the community. “We’re opening the door. We’ve invited them to Meadville to sit down and welcome them and to discuss the future of not only Ainsworth and Smuckers but the relationship with the City of Meadville.”
Stearns says local government is working to make the Smuckers team feel comfortable in Crawford County and to encourage them to stay for the long-haul.
County Commissioner and Former City Mayor Christopher Soff share those sentiments. He tells us he’s thankful to the Lang family for building up the company and he’s eager to see what the future holds.
Soff says, “They will continue to operate in the community for many, many years to come and it can only benefit not just Meadville but Crawford County as a whole.”
Similar to Ainsworth, Smuckers is also a five-generation family-owned corporation.
Neither company was available for comment today.