Pure Foods, a specialty snack company, celebrated the opening of its global headquarters and primary manufacturing location on Friday, Jan. 29, at Gateway Commerce Park in Kingsport, Tenn.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for Pure Foods with the opening of this flagship venue,” says John Frostad, president and CEO of Pure Foods. “This is a one-of-a-kind facility, built to handle novel ingredients and deliver smart, delicious snacks. We look forward to the opportunities this location affords us for providing healthier snack choices to North American consumers.”
What makes Pure Foods distinctive is its use of high-quality, carefully sourced, non-GMO ingredients. The company’s new Kingsport location offers industry-unique techniques and technologies that allow for the integration of fresh fruits and vegetables into snack forms, preserving up to 95 percent of nutrient value while reducing food waste, cost and overall impact on the environment.
As part of the celebration, Pure Foods announced the acquisition, under license, of the Guiltless Gourmet brand of baked tortilla chips from the Manischewitz Company of Newark, New Jersey. The deal, made effective Jan. 1, 2016, complements Pure Foods’ family of gluten-free, non-GMO verified snacks.
A number of state and regional dignitaries took part in the opening, including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; John Dreyzehner, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health; Miles Burdine, president and CEO, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce; John Clark, mayor of the city of Kingsport; and Richard Venable, mayor of Sullivan County.
“Tennessee is proud to serve as Pure Foods’ new home,” Haslam says. “We welcome them as a partner in our state’s robust food and beverage industry. We appreciate their significant corporate investment in the economic growth of Tennessee and Kingsport, and for bringing high-quality jobs to this area.”
As part of the grand opening celebration, Pure Foods distributed complimentary snacks to YMCA organizations in Kingsport, Bristol, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.
The Kingsport facility represents a $22 million investment in the community, including $15.5 million in equipment and $6.5 million in the building and land — 35 acres in all, providing room to grow.
Several regional and state organizations collaborated to help secure the location, including the state of Tennessee, city of Kingsport, Kingsport Economic Development Board (KEDB), NETWORKS — Sullivan Partnership and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
“We researched multiple locations before choosing Tennessee,” Frostad says. “We wanted to make our home in a community with vision, a skilled workforce, and leaders who can pool their strengths. Kingsport offered us that and more.”
Initial hiring projections include 50-75 employees in the first year working in management, production, and research and development. Over a five-year span that number may expand to approximately 275 employees.
“There’s a sizeable and rapidly evolving market for healthier, nutrient-dense snacks,” Frostad says. “It’s exciting to know that in Kingsport, we have a versatile facility that meets this growing demand and equips us to look ahead to future trends. We’re delighted that our operations are now at home in such a welcoming region, and we look forward to continued growth and success.”