Atlantic Natural Foods celebrates reopening
BY COREY DAVIS
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
NASHVILLE — Atlantic Natural Foods recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of its 54,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Nashville at 110 Industry Court, which included plans for future developments at the facility.
Atlantic Natural Foods, recognized as the largest manufacturer of shelf-stable plant-based proteins in the United States, held the ceremony following the consolidation of four seperate operations to its Nashville facility. Company officials said the consolidation included investing $1.5 million that brought warehousing and label and casing operations from the closed Rocky Mount facility on Gelo Road to the principal plant in Nashville.
Doug Hines, chairman and general partner of Atlantic Foods, said the consolidation was needed to reduce operational costs through increased efficiencies. Hines, whose company has been in the Twin Counties since 2007, said was he was being recruited heavily to relocate to Prince George, Va.
“If we didn’t do this consolidation, I don’t think we would have been here,” Hines said.
Hines said the mission of the company is to create nutritious, delicious products through sustainable protein sources.
“They produce foods that are plant-based and renewable making them good for human and the environment,” he said.
Atlantic Natural Foods expects the Nashville facility to bring more than 100 new jobs to the Twin Counties over the next three to five years and $4.5 million in investments into the local economy, company officials said. Atlantic Natural Foods has plans to make several developments at its site over the next few years.
The company will add 15 employees to utilize a co-packer to make neat baking items and dry mixes. The $500,000 project is slated to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Atlantic Natural Foods plans to invest $2 million to build a new food service pouch line at the facility that will add 35 to 40 employees, which would be completed by end of 2019.
Hines said the company also has plans to build a $3 million, cutting-edge research and development center that will include culinary classes, a gift shop, factory tours and a modernize administration office building. The project would include the addition of 30 employees and be completed in early 2020, Hines said.
“The research and development center will include a live working kitchen to bring in individuals from institutions, schools, universities and the military, along with nutritionists, to create new plant-based food solutions and provide a platform for education about the world of possibilities with plant-based proteins,” he said.
Atlantic Natural Foods’ goals is to become the “Silicon Valley” of sustainable foods, company officials said.
“We see the vision of this location being a cornerstone not just for Eastern North Carolina, but of the world as we can create something that will be able to produce food products all over the world,” Hines said.