Flowers Foods, one of the nation’s largest producers of packaged baked foods, will invest $25 million to expand and transform its Lynchburg bakery into an organic facility, creating 15 new jobs. The bakery, which the company has operated for more than 40 years, will serve the Mid-Atlantic market. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project.
“Flowers Foods’ bakery is an institution in Lynchburg,” said Governor Ralph Northam, who made the announcement of the investment. “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.”
Founded in 1919, Flowers Foods is a publicly traded company with sales of $4 billion in 2018. Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., the company operates 46 bakeries in 18 states, with more than 9,700 employees. Among the company’s top brands are Nature’s Own, Wonder, Dave’s Killer Bread and Tastykake.
“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,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “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.”
“This expansion represents a tremendous opportunity for us to meet the increasing demand for our organic, non-GMO Dave’s Killer Bread,” said Brad Alexander, Chief Operating Officer of Flowers Foods. “We chose to convert our Lynchburg bakery for a number of reasons, including its geographic location, its 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.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Lynchburg and Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Northam approved a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing companies, to assist Lynchburg with the project. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
“I am so pleased that Flowers has chosen Lynchburg for this expansion,” said City of Lynchburg Mayor Treney Tweedy. “The company is a valued corporate citizen in the City of Lynchburg and we look forward to many more prosperous years of partnership.”
“Supporting the retention and expansion of existing businesses is the number one priority of our economic development efforts in the City of Lynchburg,” said Mark Strosnider, Chair of the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg. “Lynchburg and its citizens are stronger because companies like Flowers choose to grow here, and we are proud to support their investment in our City.”