Harbor Beach Facility Creates Jobs, Quality Products for 100+ Years

Many communities have a longtime, legendary employer to brag about. Few, however, can match the residents of Harbor Mill, Michigan, and surrounding Huron County — who can point to Sensient’s local plant, which got its start in 1902!

The facility began as a flour mill, Huron Milling, and processed everything from wheat and corn starches to textile sizing, wallpaper paste and even macaroni. In 1994, Universal Foods Corp. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, purchased the plant, renaming it Universal Food Red Star Specialty Products Division. In 2000, the name changed to Sensient Flavors.

Since then, Sensient has continued to invest in the plant and the community, ensuring that this legacy employer stays an active, vibrant participant in the area. Those engagement efforts have taken many different aspects, including:

  • Adopt-A-Highway Program: Sensient sponsors a three-mile stretch of road under this state program, spearheading litter removal three times a year.
  • Food pantries: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sensient was able to fund and volunteer at numerous pop-up food pantries in the area to distribute food to families in need.
  • Harbor Beach Little League: The Sensient-sponsored Little League team fields many employees’ children.
  • Local school support: Harbor Beach is home to two parochial grade schools, along with a K-12 public school. Sensient is a reliable donor to fundraisers and a popular source of speakers for career days.
  • Harbor Beach Christmas parade: Every year the Harbor Beach team members put together a holiday-themed float for the town’s lighted parade. Along the route, they hand out Sensient swag and candy.
  • Harbor Beach Maritime Festival: Sensient is a large donor and supporter of this annual beach festival, which generates economic growth and community enrichment. There’s even a Sensient Jet Ski team!
  • Career Exploration Fair: This countywide, annual event showcases career opportunities to middle-school students. Sensient staffers are on hand to provide demonstrations of the plant’s processing operations and to speak about the employment opportunities Sensient offers.
  • Harbor Beach museum support: Harbor Beach’s rich history is showcased in several local museums, including the Frank Murphy Memorial Museum, Grice House Museum and Harbor Beach Lighthouse. The Sensient team is passionate about preserving the story of Harbor Beach and its industry, and we interact with the boards of each facility to foster an active involvement in museum upkeep. That includes everything from spring and fall cleanups to ongoing general maintenance.
  • Operation Christmas Child: Each year, Sensient employees participate in this program that distributes care packages for children in need during the holiday season.
  • Harbor Beach High School senior recognition: Sensient annually recognizes the local graduating class with a small gift to congratulate them on their success.
  • Huron County Fair: Every summer, Sensient participates in the 4-H live animal auction to promote youth interest in the area’s agriculture community and heritage.
  • Harbor Beach Fire Department: Sensient contributed to the purchase of a new fire truck that allows the local department to better handle possible incidents that could occur with the processes and ingredients handled by the area’s manufacturing employers.

Harbor Beach and Huron County are great places to operate a business, and Sensient is thrilled to engage in the above efforts — and is always looking for new ways to partner! We hope that special-event planners and local organizations in need of donations, volunteers or other support will continue to reach out and include us in their plans.