Bellisio Foods, Inc.
Bellisio Foods, Inc. represents the continual change and evolution of Jackson, Ohio's industry. The company was started by Jeno Paulucci as Chun-King and marked Jackson's entrance into the frozen food industry. The original building has since been vastly expanded and was once the location of Star Furnace, one of three coke blast furnaces located in the city. Paulucci bought the facility from the Star Furnace Company in 1957 and began operations. In 1967, Paulucci sold the business and it continued operating until the early 1980s. In 1982, Paulucci returned to Jackson and established Jeno's, Inc., which was then sold to Pillsbury and closed again. Ten years later, Paulucci returned again to Jackson and established Luigino's, which was later renamed Bellisio Foods, Inc. and continues to be the largest employer in Jackson.
Backstory and Context
In 1968, Jeno Paulucci sold Chun-King to R.J. Reynolds, and the facility later shut down in the 1980s. In 1982, Paulucci returned to Jackson County and bought the facility that is now owned by General Mills in Wellston. He reopened the Jackson facility and created Jeno's, Inc., which was sold to Pillsbury in 1985. The Jackson Facility was again closed and remained vacant until 1992. In 1990, the sitting mayor of Jackson, Tom Evens, wrote to Paulucci and asked him to reopen the food production facility. In December of 1992, Luigino's opened as the producer of Michelina's frozen food brand, a company Paulucci started in Minnesota. Luigino's was later renamed Bellisio Foods, Inc. and has remained a staple of the Jackson economy.
Bellisio's main administrative building is the last surviving remnant of the iron furnaces that once operated in Jackson. Globe Iron's two locations were destroyed by accidents. The original Globe Furnace caught fire in the late 1800s and was demolished. Its sister furnace, Fulton Furnace, retained the name Globe Iron. In September of 1960, Globe was destroyed by an explosion and permanently closed. Globe was the world's leading producer of silvery pig iron, and its competitor JISCO was the world's second-leading producer. JISCO was located on the outskirts of Jackson, and the site where it once stood can still be seen at the head of the road that bears the furnace's name, JISCO West. JISCO was the last of the furnaces to be built in 1906 and the last to close in 1969. Star Furnace was the most short-lived of the three Furnaces. Star Furnace followed the example of Globe and began producing silvery big iron after the turn of the century and was the most modern of the facilities, but it was the first to close, and by 1923 the furnace was abandoned.
Jackson Iron and Steel Company. jacksoninfo. . . http://www.jacksoninfo.net/jisco.html.
History of Jackson Ohio. jacksonohio. . . http://www.jacksonohio.org/history.html.
Our Town: Jackson. United States of America. WOUB Public Media, 2017. DVD. https://woub.org/2017/03/27/woubs-our-town-series-selects-location-of-next-episode/