SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (KEYC) — The Del Monte corn and pea canning plant in Sleepy Eye will be closing in a couple months after corn pack.
“We had absolutely no idea that this was in the cards or even a possibility. Needless to say that’s of most significant and dramatic effect on this community. It’s going to have implications in all kinds of ways,” Sleepy Eye Mayor Wayne Pelzel said.
The closure will directly affect 75 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees.
For a community of just over 3,000, that’s a major dent.
“We’re going to do whatever we can as a community and as a city to try to figure out how we can fill in the gaps here or find another company that may be interested in the facility,” EDA Coordinator Kurk Kramer said.
Del Monte has been a community fixture for nearly a century, dating back to the 1930s.
Each year, they provide corn for Sleepy Eye's annual Corn Days.
Just last week, the company donated 5 ½ tons of corn for the event.
“We will miss Del Monte significantly because they are a major part of our community and an important employer in our community,” Mayor Pelzel said.
No reason has yet been given for the closing of the Sleepy Eye plant.