Since the company's beginning in 1926, three generations of Helgesons have piloted our course. We began as St. Cloud Hatcheries and, today, we're a fully integrated provider of premium quality chicken products.
Company was founded by E.M. Helgeson as St. Cloud Hatcheries, which sold day-old chicks throughout the Midwest and delivered them by road, rail and air to meet customer needs.
Company name changed to Jack Frost Hatchery and became known for supplying the hardiest and healthiest chicks to the market.
Company purchased by founder's sons, Don and Jerry Helgeson; grew to include breeding, feeding, milling and processing.
Entered into a joint venture with Armour Processing Company in Cold Spring, MN, to produce fresh tray pack chicken.
Launched the Gold'n Plump® brand.
Purchased the Armour Processing facility to fully integrate production. Built a feed mill in Sauk Rapids, MN, to meet the needs of a growing operation and distribution area.
Built a processing facility in Sauk Rapids to expand the company's value-added product line.
Company's CEO, Don Helgeson, handed role of chief operating officer over to son, Michael. Purchased Arcadia Fryers, a production complex in Arcadia, WI. Subsequently, expanded the Arcadia complex to include new chicken barns, a new feed mill and increased production capabilities–all of which doubled the operation's production capacity.
Cold Spring, MN, production plant was damaged by a fire. Plant repair accelerated previously planned expansion of the plant. Acquired a former beef production facility in Luverne, MN. Plant converted to produce value-added, convenience chicken products such as pre-seasoned, pre-stuffed breasts.
Completed expansion project at the Cold Spring, MN, production plant. Expansion included the installation of new, patent-pending technology to produce the market's first full line of fresh, fixed-weight scannable tray pack chicken as well as the addition of new employee welfare areas.
2000 & 2001
Consolidated operations to capitalize on recent expansion efforts and acquisitions and increase operational efficiency.
Launched a new brand, Just BARE® Chicken, that's simply raised-without the use of antibiotics. A special "tracebility" code on each package of Just BARE allows consumers to trace the chicken inside each package back to the specific family farm where it was raised.
Completed the final phase of a multi-year expansion in Arcadia, Wisconsin with the addition of 22,000 square feet to the production facility and 20 new family farm partners in the Arcadia area.
Completed a waste water treatment upgrade at the company's Cold Spring, MN processing plant, with state-of-the art equipment. The Just BARE® brand passes the rigourous care standards of the American Humane Association's Farm Program and becomes third-party Humane Certified®. The company changes its name to GNP Company™.