BC community leaders work to change Kellogg’s mind

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Some in Cereal City are not happy about Kellogg’s plans to put a new 600-job service center near Grand Rapids instead of in Battle Creek — but they’re not taking it lying down.

Wednesday, some community leaders held a closed-door meeting with Kellogg’s top brass to try and change their minds. Kellogg’s agreed to meet, but in the end didn’t change any plans.

“We had a very cordial meeting, obviously there were differences of opinion,” Dr. John Schwarz said.

Schwarz– a former Battle Creek mayor and congressman — was at Wednesday’s meeting, along with people from Southwest Michigan First, Battle Creek Unlimited, the CEO of Kellogg’s and the chairman of the Kellogg’s board.

“We think some of the data that the company used to reach their decision was not really complete,” Schwarz said.

Kellogg’s CEO John Bryant says the company is sticking with its data.

“The decision to build the call center, or the service center — really it’s not a call center — in Grand Rapids is one we took a long time making and we believe is the right decision and we are moving forward with that decision,” Bryant said.

He said the Kellogg Company remains committed to Battle Creek, but it just wasn’t the right location for the center.

A new Kellogg Company service building will move into the Zondervan building on Patterson Avenue. (Feb. 13, 2014)
A new Kellogg Company service building will move into the Zondervan building on Patterson Avenue. (Feb. 13, 2014)

“If you look at what we’ve done over the last few years, we’ve doubled the size of our global R-and-D facility here in Battle Creek, we’ve acquired Pringles and brought Pringles to Battle Creek, and we’ve bought the Kashi business from California to Battle Creek,” Bryant said.

No one from the City of Battle Creek was at Wednesday’s meeting, but one city commissioner said it was a good idea. The commissioner told 24 Hour News 8 the city is committed to keeping lines of communication open with Kellogg’s.

The new center will open at the end of this year at what used to be the Zondervan facility located on Patterson Avenue in Cascade Township. It beat out seven other locations.

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