March 03, 2005

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Ray Baxter
Interbake Foods LLC
(804) 755-7107
Christie Collins
(804) 371-4074
-Governor Warner announces company remains in Virginia and expands-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Interbake Foods LLC will open a new cookie and cracker manufacturing center in Warren County. The company will create 381 jobs through a $40.2 million investment that will modify the former Bering Truck manufacturing facility. Virginia successfully competed with Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee for the project. In the process, Interbake Foods will close its Richmond plant that currently employs 248 workers. The Richmond site could not be expanded to accommodate the company’s future production requirements nor could available regional facilities meet its needs.

“The competition for this project was intense but we prevailed,” said Governor Warner. “Unfortunately, the existing Interbake Foods facility in Richmond was unable to expand, forcing the company to look elsewhere. However, keeping this company in the Commonwealth is a net win for Virginia.”

Interbake Foods’ headquarters is located and will remain in the Richmond area. The company is a wholly-owned division of Toronto-based George Weston Limited. Interbake’s history dates back to 1899 when the original company, Southern Biscuit Works, began producing bakery goods under the trademark name Famous Foods of Virginia. Today Interbake Foods employs more than 2,500 people in nine different locations.

“After considering locations in five other states we were able to reconfirm that Virginia has a very competitive, business-friendly environment which met all of our requirements better than any other alternative,” said Ray Baxter, President of Interbake Foods. “We have found a great location in Warren County and are looking forward to being a part of the Warren County community.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program to close the deal. The VIP program offers financial assistance to existing Virginia companies proposing significant expansion projects. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.

“Warren County is very pleased with Interbake Food's decision to locate its operation in Warren County,” said Tony F. Carter, Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “Interbake's decision is further proof that Warren County is a highly competitive area that can attract strong companies. We look forward to working with Interbake Foods in the coming years.”


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