South Coast Baking Company, one of the top U.S. wholesale manufacturers of frozen bakery products, announced today the opening of a second production facility in Northwest Arkansas. that will employ 150 Arkansans and produce frozen cookie dough for some of the best known food retailers in the U.S.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe joined state and Springdale officials to welcome representatives of the Irvine, Calif.-based company.
South Coast Baking Company, best known for the production and distribution of frozen cookie dough, currently distributes its products to more than 38 countries. The company is the exclusive frozen cookie dough producer for Mrs. Fields products. It is also a major supplier for Sam’s Club and Panera Bread.
“South Coast Baking’s decision to locate in Springdale adds to Arkansas’s reputation as a hub for food manufacturers,” Beebe said. “The combination of our skilled workforce and a central location for product distribution continues to draw companies here.”
A nearly $8.7 million investment by South Coast Baking Company will transform an existing 104,000-square-foot building at 800 S. 40th Street in Springdale, including the utilization of as many green technology elements as possible in the remodel. The central U.S. location of the manufacturing and warehouse facility will significantly mitigate the company’scross-country transportation costs. The company’s employees will have an average wage of $25 an hour.
“After carefully considering several regions to expand our California facility, Springdale proved to be a perfect fit for South Coast Baking,” said South Coast Baking CEO Kent Hayden. “The city provides us with an opportunity to establish our roots in an economically viable and business-friendly climate. Ultimately our increased production capacity along with geographical freight efficiencies will allow us to better serve our customers.”
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse called South Coast’s announcement today “tremendous news” and said job creation is a top city priority.
“The emphasis on job growth in our city has and continues to pay huge dividends in our economy,” Sprouse said. “South Coast Baking is adding a significant number of new jobs and will pay an outstanding wage. That’s good news for our workforce and our city.”
Incentives from the state, including funds from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund, were instrumental in the successful recruitment of the company. South Coast Baking officials expect to initially employe 80 workers with a year-two ramp up of 40 additional employees, reaching 150 total employees during its third year. Once remodeling efforts begin in November, the company estimates operations will begin in July next year.
“Without the coordinated efforts of various city and state entities, our expansion into Arkansas would not have been possible,” Hayden said. “The mayor and city officials of Springdale provided us with all the necessary resources to enable us to confidently make our decision. In particular, the incentive program provided by the governor’s office was a major determining factor. Our experience with the people of Arkansas truly has made this a red carpet event.”
People interested in job opportunities with South Coast Baking Company may contact the company’s hiring center at 1-800-478-4252.