MOM Brands -- the company that changed its name from Malt-O-Meal earlier this year -- is moving its headquarters from downtown Minneapolis to Lakeville.
The company already has about 200 employees in Lakeville in a technical center it has operated since 2009. The new headquarters will be in a building next door that MOM Brands is buying for an additional 100 employees who will move from the company's headquarters in Minneapolis' IDS Center, where they've been since 1985. The move is expected to be completed in 2014.
The two buildings in Lakeville have more than 165,000 square feet spread over more than 20 acres, creating a corporate campus for the company.
"We think it's going to strengthen our business quite a bit," said Linda Fisher, director of marketing and communications. Having all employees in one location is expected to encourage collaboration among employees as well as cut down on the time people spend shuttling between Minneapolis and Lakeville, she said.
"Any time you're able to add a corporate headquarters to your community it's a fantastic opportunity," said Todd Bornhauser, executive director of the Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition to bringing in high-paying jobs, headquarters tend to generate benefits for surrounding businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and firms that supply office-related products and services, he said.
The headquarters fits the city's long-term goals for its Fairfield Business Campus, said Dave Olson, Lakeville director of economic and community development. Other tenants include software developer Image Trends, wireless systems provider Advanced Wireless and the Minnesota division of homebuilder DR Horton. "There's a healthy mixture of office and high-tech businesses there. MOM Brands is a good fit," Olson said.
MOM Brands expects to close on its purchase of the building in the next 90 days. It has been the home of New Morning Windows, a custom window manufacturer. Olson said he's aware the window company has downsized in recent years but does not know its future plans. A company spokesman who was the only person working in the office last week declined to comment.
In addition to expanding its footprint in Lakeville, the move by MOM Brands solidifies its presence in the south metro area. It also employs more than 700 people at two plants in Northfield.
Founded more than 90 years ago, MOM Brands had sales last year of about $750 million, and ranked third behind Kellogg Co. and General Mills Inc. in ready-to-eat cereal sales as measured by the pound. The company said it changed its name to reflect its growth beyond its venerable Malt-O-Meal hot wheat cereal.
Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282