A national cookie company famous for making animal crackers will receive $12 million in federal Empowerment Zone funds to help build a factory on Garry Avenue near the Santa Ana River, the City Council decided Monday.
The $113-million-a-year, 140-year-old Stauffer Biscuit Co. is moving its West Coast baking operation from Tustin to Santa Ana.
The Santa Ana factory's assembly line will use 9,000 pounds of dough every hour when it starts running early next year, company officials told the council.
The move will allow the company, based in Pennsylvania, to more than triple its local work force of 60 employees.
Stauffer plans to hire and train 140 people to work in the Santa Ana plant, which is under construction. The company has agreed to draw at least one third of the plant's employees from urban Empowerment Zone neighborhoods.
The factory could grow to employ more than 400 people over the next few years, city reports said.
Company officials could not be reached for comment.
Last year, the federal government designated a large part of south Santa Ana an Empowerment Zone and put up $130 million for urban renewal projects.
A few months ago, the city issued $5 million in Empowerment Zone funds to the nearby Gold Coast Baking Co. to help expand a factory on East Saint Gertrude Place, city officials said.
Alex Katz can be reached at (714) 966-5977.