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Italian Specialty Woodworking Company Announces First US Manufacturing Location in Hickory

From the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation

Minelli Group S.p.A., an international leader in developing and producing specialty wood products, from intricate gun stocks to designer eyeglass frames, has chosen to locate their first US manufacturing operation in Hickory, Catawba County. The company has purchased an 18,000 square foot building located at 1245 26th Street SE in Hickory, investing more than $2M in new equipment and creating 12 new jobs immediately. The location, called Minelli USA, will allow the company to transfer existing US business from Italy to the Hickory plant and to grow their product offerings in the United States.

Established in Bergamo, Italy by Francesco Minelli and his three sons, Minelli Group has been working for over 75 years manufacturing solid wood parts. Their products and components are widely found in various consumer markets, including sports and leisure, where Minelli Group has progressively grown to be a dominant global supplier of wooden shotgun and rifle stocks for major US firearms brands. The company operates four production plants across Europe producing for company divisions in tools, packaging, eyewear, stationary, homeware, wellness and even toys. Known for their meticulous attention to detail and incredible quality wood products, excellent and precise customer service, Minelli Group has been a trusted name to their more than 200 customers across 20 countries.

“We listen very closely to our customers, and they have become more vocal in recent years – ‘come here and be part of our efforts to be a ‘Made in the USA’ product’”, says Mr. Marco Minelli, the company’s and family’s patriarch. “After years of planning, this facility is a response to our loyal customers. We are extremely happy to establish our first production operation in Hickory, an area with a very rich heritage in woodworking and craftsmanship.”

“We welcome Minelli Group to Catawba County and applaud their commitment to grow their business in the United States by investing in the people of Catawba County,” said Randy Isenhower, Chair of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners. “We look forward to their facility’s successful startup this Fall and the mainstay the company will become in our community in the years ahead.”

“We are honored that Mr. Minelli and his family selected Hickory as their first manufacturing footprint in America”, said Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright. “Our citizens appreciate this opportunity to become a member of the Minelli USA team. It is exciting to see visionary international companies like Minelli Group recognize the value of American manufacturing.”

“I have been impressed with the Minelli Group since the first day I met them, more than a year ago. The passion and caring they had for their business, their customers, and their employees – it was evident immediately,” said Nathan Huret, Director of Existing Industry Services for the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation. “To me, they represent the bright future of manufacturing in Catawba County – a blend of handcrafted artistry along with very advanced machining and robotics technology. They are a welcome addition to our already strong manufacturing cluster.”

The first phase of hiring will begin in early September. “NC Works-Catawba is extremely excited to assist the Minelli Group with their employee recruitment efforts, as they seek to find top talent in office administration, woodworking and finishing, and jobseekers with a technical aptitude and an eagerness to learn operation of the company’s advanced sanding and spraying robotics,” stated Felicia Culbreath-Setzer, NC WORKS Career Center-Catawba, Center Manager. “Given our area’s unique skills base in woodworking and furniture, I believe the Minelli Group will find the Catawba Valley a perfect match for their needs.”

To apply for employment please contact the Catawba County office of the NC Works Career Center, 828-466-5535, located at 403 Conover Station SE, Conover, NC 28613.

For more information contact: Nathan Huret, Director of Existing Industry Services Catawba County Economic Development Corporation 828-267-1564

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