FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 07, 1997



Jill Lawrence
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
(804) 371-0049
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
New Roanoke Enterprise Zone Wins Maple Leaf Bakery
-- Governor Allen Hails $22 Million Canadian Investment --


Roanoke - Governor George Allen today announced that Maple Leaf Bakery, Inc., a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, will locate a new food processing facility in Roanoke. The company will locate a 100,000 square foot plant in the city's Enterprise Zone with an initial investment of $22 million and creating approximately 150-180 new jobs. Virginia successfully competed with Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina for the investment.

"By locating their new bakery and distribution center in Roanoke, Maple Leaf Foods is strategically positioning itself to participate and succeed in the broader free trade environment," said Governor Allen. "I am especially pleased that my decision to designate this area in the City of Roanoke as an Enterprise Zone was a key ingredient in this recipe for a bread-winning success."

Governor Allen has been a chief proponent in the expansion of Enterprise Zones across the Commonwealth. In 1995, he won approval of a comprehensive package of changes that doubled the number of Enterprise Zones from 25 to 50.

Maple Leaf Bakery is a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, Inc., Canada's largest food processing company with sales of more than $3 billion and 11,000 employees worldwide. The Roanoke food processing plant will operate three shifts seven days per week to manufacture and distribute premium quality specialty breads and rolls. The company hopes to expand the facility and hire additional employees over the next five years.

"The new bakery is a key component in our strategy for growth in the Eastern United States," said Richard Lan, president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods USA. "There is strong consumer demand for Maple Leaf Bakery's specialty bread products. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership effectively communicated the benefits of this location, and Virginia's Enterprise Zone incentives were a strong determining factor in our decision."

"Maple Leaf is the perfect example of why the City of Roanoke pursued the Enterprise Zone designation," said Roanoke Mayor David A. Bowers. "The Enterprise Zone helps us create new, high-quality jobs for our citizens by making this area an attractive place for business to locate."

Governor Allen approved a $110,000 Governor's Opportunity Fund grant for the City of Roanoke to assist the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership worked together for the site selection. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

Maple Leaf Foods joins 49 other Canadian companies already located in Virginia, investing over $3 billion and creating approximately 3,270 jobs for Virginians.



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