The company said the expansions are necessary to expand processing volumes in fresh production. The Xenia plant expansion will include 2,600 feet of updates to production areas and equipment improvements at a cost of $6 million. The current plant covers 30,000 sq. ft., and nearly 90 employees work at the facility. The company anticipates adding 22 new jobs after the expansion is complete.
A similar expansion is planned for the Hillsdale facility at a cost of $4 million, according to the company. In addition to renovation of existing facilities, the expansion will accommodate increased production volume, equipment updates to accommodate additional capacity and enhance food safety and quality assurance. More than 100 employees work at the Hillsdale plant. The expansion is expected to create 17 new jobs and raise local payroll by more than $600,000.
“Bob Evans is working to ignite the growth of our foods business, and these expansions reflect our commitment to making that happen,” said Steve Davis, chairman and CEO of Bob Evans Farms. “These are strategic investments, designed to capitalize and build on the assets that currently exist in these two facilities – strong community partnerships, an outstanding workforce and significant opportunities for long-term growth.”
The company noted that the expansions are part of Bob Evans' strategic growth. Improvements include investments in plant and transportation center operations; the acquisition of Lima, Ohio-based Kettle Creations and subsequent expansion of the facility; and expansion of the company's Sulphur Springs, Texas, production plant.
Davis noted that since 2011, and with the investment in Xenia, Bob Evans will have invested more than $194 million as part of the state's BEST to Invest in Ohio initiative.