SCD Probiotics recently opened a newly expanded $1.4 million manufacturing and production facility in Kansas City. President and CEO Matt Wood talks about the company’s growth.
KK: What does SCD Probiotics do?
MW: We manufacture beneficial bacteria commonly known as probiotics, and we make these products for a wide range of applications. Most people know of them for human health and pets or livestock. We also make probiotics for agriculture and environmental applications, and recently this year we launched a line of products for chemicals used in tanning leathers.
KK: The global tanning chemical industry is actually one of the world’s worst polluters of toxic waste. How do you help minimize environmental impacts?
MW: It is a green solution for turning raw hides into leather. It’s a really strong value proposition for the tannery industry because it performs better and produces higher quality leather than the chemical it’s replacing. Also, waste that comes out of the plant is less toxic and less costly to treat for distribution into the environment.
KK: Where do your products go? You are a significant exporter.
MW: We send products to more than 30 countries including China, India, Australia, Malaysia and Poland, as well as continents such as Europe, Africa and South America. This year we have expanded into Brazil.
KK: Tell me about your expansion in Kansas City.
“Probiotics are a really strong value proposition for the tannery industry because it performs better and produces higher quality leather than the chemical it’s replacing.” ~ Matt Wood, CEO of SCD Probiotics
MW: Basically, we are quadrupling our fermentation capacity. In manufacturing bacteria, it’s a lot like a brewery or a winery. So we have a lot of stainless steel tanks, and we grow these microbes through fermentation manufacturing. We’ve quadrupled the size of that facility, and we’ve also doubled the footprint of our laboratory.
KK: You employ about 30 people. Do you plan to add more employees?
MW: I think in the next six months, we will probably add 10-12 people.
KK: Your expansion was made possible by incentives from the city of Kansas City and the state of Missouri. Tell me about those.
MW: We worked with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City. Really the process started a couple of years ago, and it’s a variety of different incentives and training grants as well as financing for equipment purposes and brick and mortar renovation. Also the Missouri Technology Corp. has been instrumental in supporting these programs.
KK: Tell me about your company’s history.
MW: I founded the company in 1998. I was a soil science student at the University of Missouri and really started the company in my garage, making fermented fertilizers or products for agriculture using beneficial bacteria and just slowly but steadily have grown the company.
I moved it to Kansas City in 2003 and built our manufacturing and fermentation facility in 2004. We have been steadily growing it, but we are expecting significant growth in the next couple of years because of our tannery and textile products.
Find out more about Matt Wood’s company by visiting scdprobiotics.com