Former library makes way for LaBudde
Move-in set for May 18

By Denise Seyfer - News Graphic Staff

April 21, 2015

 An open space office area and private offices will occupy the former Cedarburg library building when the LaBudde Group moves in. 
Photo by Denise Seyfer

CEDARBURG — Gone are the circulation desk, the aroma of cardboard book covers and paper as well as the plethora of bookshelves that used to greet patrons visiting the old library at W63 N583 Hanover Ave.

The building that once was has been stripped down to its skeletal structure to make way for a newly designed workplace for the 22 employees who work for LaBudde Group in Grafton. They will start calling the red brick building their home away from home on May 18, when they are scheduled to move to Cedarburg. Altogether, the company employs approximately 90 workers.

LaBudde Group specializes in converting food by-products or waste into new, value-added consumer products such as animal feed. Some of the ingredients remade come from beet pulp, apple, vegetable and tomato pomace, sweet potato waste, coffee grounds and orange pulp, just to name a few. Some of the services LaBudde provides are custom drying, grinding, blending and bagging of products along with ingredient storage and transportation.

The Cedarburg building will serve as its headquarters, while processing, warehousing and sales are conducted at the other locations around the country, including a large warehouse on Highway NN in Jackson.

LaBudde, with seven other locations nationwide, is owned and operated by Richard Erickson and his wife, Mary Sciascia, the company’s chief financial officer.

“We’ll start out the same, but this will give us twice as much space, and we’ll continue to grow,” said Erickson, when asked if he would be hiring more staff after the move.

The company is selling its Grafton building on 12th Avenue, Erickson said.

Painted in hues of brown, purple and green, the new office in Cedarburg will house accounting, transportation, human resources, sales and marketing personnel and management.

The open-space work environment is enhanced by the many windows, glass walls and curved structures in the main office space, employee kitchen and gathering areas. The interior uses angled lighting, drawing one’s eye through the workspace area to the glass-windowed, private offices.

With a taste for grilling, the owners said they plan on extending and embellishing the patio area that faces the Cedarburg Public Library. The building also sits adjacent to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail for those who prefer to bike to work.

The building’s purchase was approved by the city in 2013; six Cedarburg nonprofits expressed interest in the location, but LaBudde was the only interested party that submitted an offer to purchase. Those parties were Cedarburg Holiday House and Covered Bridge museum, Cedarburg Preschool, Festivals ofCedarb urg, the Ozaukee County Historical Society, a Cedarburg historical museum and The Student Union, a teen mentor program through Alliance Bible Church in Mequon.

Erickson and his wife offered between $650,000 and $675,000 for the building, which was appraised at $617,000, city documents said. The parties closed on the building last December, Erickson said.

Established in 1907, LaBudde is named after its founding family, which originally handled by-products from the numerous breweries in Milwaukee at the time. The company was sold by George LaBudde and purchased by Richard and Phyllis Apple in 1978. Erickson started with the company in 1981, and shortly thereafter, it moved to Brown Deer.

Nearly four years later, Erickson and Sciascia purchased LaBudde in 1985. Since the purchase, the owners have expanded its operations into Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada and Michigan, where it has three different facilities. The company’s largest and main processing facility is in Akron, where it encompasses 60,300 square feet of warehouse, processing and office space; a 12,000square-foot tent builder for storage and 54,000 square feet for more processing, storage, grinding, drying and bagging operations.

LaBudde Group’s building design, renovation and consulting was serviced by Design 2 Construct, based in Jackson, and GRAEF, an engineering and consulting firm in Milwaukee.

Denise Seyfer can be reached at .