Eastern N.C. welcomes Nutkao news

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Nash County and North Carolina officials brought home a welcome Christmas present last week – an international food plant that will employ nearly 60 people and generate a $7.3 million investment during the next three years.

In an area as thirsty for jobs as the Twin Counties, the addition of Nutkao USA is good news, indeed. The company, based in Italy, produces food spreads in flavors such as hazelnut, cocoa and dark chocolate, as Telegram business writer John Henderson reported.

Carolinas Gateway Partnership officials have even higher hopes for the company. CEO John Gessaman told Henderson the company probably will hire about 100 people and grow its investment to $17 million during the next five years. Most of those hires are likely to come from Nash County, Gessaman said.

A performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of as much as $210,000 helped entice the company. But the proximity to Interstate 95 and U.S. 64 will give Nutkao speedy access to markets all over the Eastern Seaboard and beyond.

The average salary for a Nutkao employee will be almost $36,000, plus benefits.

Nutkao isn’t the first international food company to look to the Twin Counties for a place to call home. Poppies, a Belgian pastry company, also has a plant here.

Those types of investments are great additions to the Twin Counties business community. We welcome Nutkao and wish it much success.

The company’s announcement comes as a nice Christmas present to the rest of us, indeed.