A Gage County business has been recognized for its strong economic growth.

Landmark Snacks is one of several winners of the 2016 Third District Excellence in Economic Development Awards, announced Monday.

Landmark Snacks was founded in April 2016 by Chad and Courtney Lottman.

The Lottmans started out in 1994 as grocery store owners and operate out of Diller.

They expanded to Beatrice and opened a retail store a few years ago, before launching Landmark Snacks three months ago.

“It’s great to know that our congressmen are paying attention to our district and what’s happening out here to know what going on and recognize us,” said Chad Lottman.

The economic development awards, announced by Nebraska Third District U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith, recognized eight Nebraska businesses in the district for their economic development efforts.

Smith's awards honored individuals and businesses helping to strengthen Nebraska communities through innovation, hard work, and entrepreneurship.

"All of the nominees for this year's award have shown they are striving to ensure a strong economic future for Nebraskans," Smith said in a press release. "The eight winners are leaders in their communities and deserve our gratitude for their commitment to growing opportunity in the third district."

The jerky and meat snacks production facility in Beatrice provides products under the name “Epic,” which can be found in the Lottmans' retail stores, among other places.

Landmark Snacks surpassed its three-year growth plan in a matter of months, which Lottman said was likely a key factor in being selected for the award.

“I would guess that it was simply a matter of how fast we put the project together and employed that many people here in Beatrice in such a small time period,” he said. “It’s about nine months from the time we started thinking about the project and we’re three months into production.

“To put that together in less than six months had to stand out, and then meeting our capacity goals a lot sooner than expected.”

The goal was to employ 30 people in around two years. Three months into production, up to 50 people are working at Landmark Snacks in Beatrice, depending on the day.

Landmark Snacks operates at Seventh and Park streets in Beatrice.

The company received assistance from the city of Beatrice in the form of LB840 funds, which are economic development dollars aimed to help companies start and grow in the area.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.