Purchaser's plan to remain and expand in Terre Haute good news
The news flash came across Clabber Girl's Twitter feed at around 9:30 Wednesday morning:
"It’s National Chocolate Chip Day today! Win this gift set including THREE bags of Baileys Original Irish Cream Baking Chips by RETWEETING and TELLING us your favorite family food tradition. We'll pick a winner on May 21."
That may have been a nice news tidbit for those who follow baking-related happenings. But, as it turned out, that wasn't the biggest news of the day for Clabber Girl.
Hulman & Co., the iconic granddaddy of Terre Haute business and industry, announced early Wednesday it was selling Clabber Girl Corp. to B&G Foods Inc. of New Jersey.
Fortunately, not much will change for Clabber Girl and its 180 employees in Terre Haute who still manufacture products, including the company's famous baking powder. Hulman & Co. has been manufacturing food products here for more than 150 years, with the "clabber" baking powder product existing since 1899.
The baking powder brand was likely even more recognizable than Hulman & Co., at least until Tony Hulman purchased the deteriorating speedway in Indianapolis after World War II and brought it back to life. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of the annual Indy 500 car race, became more and more the company's focus throughout the late 20th century. The decision to sell Clabber Girl, company officials said, was driven by a desire to turn Hulman & Co.'s focus entirely to its motorsports business.
B&G Foods officials have stated the company intends to remain here and expand the Terre Haute operation. We certainly hope they do. Clabber Girl isn't just an important local company, it's part of the community's DNA, an enduring link to the colorful history that gives Terre Haute its identity and keeps it looking to the future.
Hulman & Co. has now completed, for the most part, its separation from Terre Haute with the sale of its last major vestige of Hulman family influence. But Clabber Girl remains, and the new ownership's stated intentions indicate that the people who work there and keep the manufacturing plant going and making money can carry on with pride and confidence.
Meanwhile, Hulman and Co. can celebrate race month and its upcoming running of the Indianapolis 500.
And Clabber Girl can celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day, now and for years to come, in Terre Haute.
Published editorials are the collective opinion of the Tribune-Star's Editorial Board and are independent of the newspaper's news gathering and coverage.