US (MN): Startup invests $12.3 million in aquaponics facility

Aquaponics startup Stars Hollow Co. will create 156 jobs and invest nearly $12.3 million to build a new facility in Cambridge.

The company, which plans to build the 164,000-square-foot office, warehouse and production facility in the Cambridge Opportunity Industrial Park, said it will raise koi fish and grow organic produce, herbs and fruits. The new jobs will be created within three years and pay wages averaging $21.17 an hour.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is supporting the project with an $812,960 grant from the Job Creation Fund. The company will receive the funding once it has met its hiring and investment commitments.

“I thank Stars Hollow for its decision to expand and create more than 150 new jobs in Minnesota. This expansion is a tribute to Minnesota’s highly-skilled and hardworking people,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Stars Hollow’s expansion is another example of how the Job Creation Fund is facilitating public-private collaboration to create economic opportunities for Minnesotans throughout our state.”

Stars Hollow is developing new and innovative ways to solve food production and sustainability challenges,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “The company will be a major asset in Cambridge, bringing a significant number of new jobs and investment to the community.”

Akashlina Haider is the co-founder and CEO of Stars Hollow, while Jami Haider is the co-founder and president. They plan to sell their organic produce and fish to wholesale distributors, grocery chains, co-ops, institutional food service companies, airline food-preparing businesses, restaurants, hotels and consumers. The business earlier considered sites in Elk River and Wadena.

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