RICHMOND, VA. — Flowers Foods, Inc. has unveiled plans to invest $25 million to expand and transform its Lynchburg, Va., baking facility into an organic plant. The facility has been in operation for more than 40 years.
“This expansion represents a tremendous opportunity for us to meet the increasing demand for our Dave’s Killer Bread (D.K.B.) organic, Non-GMO Project verified bread,” said Bradley K. Alexander, chief operating officer of Flowers Foods. “We chose to convert our Lynchburg bakery for a number of reasons, including its geographic location, access to key interstate highways, and the partnership we have with local and state agencies. However, one of the more compelling reasons was the outstanding team of individuals we have at our bakery. We look forward to the successful completion of this project by late summer.”
Flowers Foods said the expansion will create 15 new jobs at the baking plant. The converted facility will serve the mid-Atlantic market, Flowers Foods said.
Flowers Foods acquired the D.K.B. brand in the fall of 2015 for approximately $275 million. At the time, Flowers Foods said the acquisition of D.K.B. would give it an organic baking presence in the northwest U.S., a region where the company had a limited presence. Over the past several years company executives have talked openly about expanding the D.K.B. brand into a more national brand via Flowers Foods’ expansive distribution network.
In addition to D.K.B., which is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in accordance with the National Organic Program and verified non-G.M.O. by the Non-GMO Project, Flowers Foods’ organic portfolio includes Alpine Valley Bakery products and Barowsky’s Organic bread, buns and rolls.
News of the expansion was welcomed by government officials in Virginia, which successfully competed with other states to get Flowers Foods to make the changes to its Virginia plant.
Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia approved a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program to assist with the project. Flowers Foods also is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
“Flowers Foods’ bakery is an institution in Lynchburg,” Mr. Northam said. “Focusing the bakery on the growing market for organic food will help secure its future in Virginia. The food processing industry has blossomed both in Lynchburg and in our Commonwealth, and we are proud to support Flowers Foods as they grow and prosper here.”
Brian Ball, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, added, “Virginia’s strategic access to markets and the city of Lynchburg’s dedicated workforce helped secure this win, and we congratulate Flowers on its next phase of growth. As the company continues its upward trajectory in the organic baked foods market, we look forward to building on the long-term corporate partnership between the Commonwealth and Flowers Foods.”