Dansons USA said Wednesday (Feb. 10) it will open “the country’s largest barbecue wood pellet mill and distribution center” in Hope, Ark. The facility is expected to create 50-100 new jobs over the next three years, according to the company.
The facility, which is approximately 335,000 square feet and sits on 143 acres, will initially start with three pelleters and a 100,000-ton capacity, but has the infrastructure for eventual expansion to 300,000 tons and nine pelleters. The site will also serve as a distribution center for wood pellets as well as wood pellet barbecue grills, according to Dansons.
“Dansons is setting the barbecue world on fire with its high-quality wood pellets and top-flight pellet grills,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Dansons and Hope are a perfect match. Dansons needs wood. Arkansas has wood. Dansons needs a first-rate workforce. Arkansans are the hardest working and smartest employees anywhere. Dansons and Arkansas will set the standard for barbecue wood pellets, and soon grill masters will be serving barbecue with the distinctive taste of Arkansas.”
Phoenix-based Dansons was founded in 1999 by Dan Thiessen and his two sons.
The Hope site is a former Georgia-Pacific facility and has a strong infrastructure for wood processing. That plant closed in 2019 laying off 100 workers. Dansons said the facility will be the “crown jewel” of its pellet creation and distribution operation.
“This is a great day for the city of Hope,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Dansons is renowned for their exceptional products and community involvement, and I know they will have a huge impact on economic and community development in Southwest Arkansas. I look forward to continuing to work with them as they join Arkansas’ diverse business community.”
“We are blessed to be able to expand our operation and open our new pellet mill location in Hope, Arkansas,” said Dansons President Jeff Thiessen. “The state of Arkansas has been the most welcoming, most friendly and most encouraging location we’ve ever done business in. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission, from the town, county and state level, has welcomed us with open arms from the onset of this project. As a family-owned business, the personal touches that have come from Governor Hutchinson and Secretary Preston’s offices, as well as those from Jack Thomas and Steve Harris with the state and local EDC, have meant a lot to us. We believe in relationships and people and we really like the people we are working with.”
For Dansons, the pellets to be manufactured in Hope are for its Pit Boss Grills and Louisiana Grills brands and are a 100% all-natural product that are free of artificial flavors, spray scents and binders.