September 28, 2006

Kevin Hall
(804) 225-4260

Jane Riddick-Fries
757-653-2028 Ext. 311
Christie Miller
(804) 545-5805
-FERIDIES® to invest $3.2 million to expand peanut processing operation-

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that FERIDIES®, a leading manufacturer of Virginia peanuts, will invest $3.2 million to expand its facility in the Southampton Business Park in Southampton County. The company also will increase its equipment capacity at the plant, creating 25 new jobs.

“FERIDIES® is a home-grown Virginia company,” said Governor Kaine. “Southampton County’s history as one of the world’s largest peanut producing counties has been a great fit for this family owned business for 33 years. I congratulate FERIDIES® on its success in producing a high-end Virginia product.”

FERIDIES®, formerly marketed under "The Peanut Patch" label, offers peanuts and a variety of peanut candies, nuts, and other gourmet snacks. Located in Courtland, in the heart of Virginia peanut country, FERIDIES® has been owned and operated by the Riddick family since 1973.

"This expansion comes a year after we rebranded our Virginia Peanut line from The Peanut Patch to FERIDIES®, a name that we have trademarked and is marketable around the world,” says FERIDIES® President Judy Riddick. "The rebranding is another step in the repositioning for the future. Our success as a family owned and operated company, the demand for the Virginia type peanut and the rebranding have allowed us to expand our specialty food product lines and to market more effectively in the U.S. and in other countries."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Southampton County, Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to support the project for Virginia. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through its Workforce Services Jobs Investment Program.

"We are extremely pleased with FERIDIES’®commitment to expand their processing and logistics operation at the Southampton Business Park,” said Warren Beale, Chairman, Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. “This family owned and operated company, with its long standing history here, has positioned itself well to compete in both the domestic and international marketplaces. We are committed, as part of our new organization, to ensure existing industry has every opportunity to grow and that the company understands we value the economic impact it contributes to the community.”

"We are deeply committed to providing growth opportunities for our existing business and industry,” said Dallas O. Jones, Chairman, Southampton County Board of Supervisors. “FERIDIES'® decision to expand and invest in Southampton County serves to reinforce the importance of that commitment. We are gratified by the vote of confidence given to us by the Riddick family. Southampton County offers many competitive advantages for progressive, growing businesses like FERIDIES®."

"The Riddicks have long been a leader in supporting further processing and value added agriculture in Virginia," said J. Carlton Courter, III, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "When Judy Riddick first started The Peanut Patch, she was one of the original founders of the Virginia Food and Beverage Association and like The Peanut Patch then, FERIDIES® carries the Department’s "Virginia's Finest" specialty marketing logo on all its packaging. It is agribusinesses like FERIDIES® that support our traditional Virginia agriculture base. We at VDACS congratulate the Riddick family's latest expansion and wish them well in all their future endeavors."


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