Fancy Pokket of New Brunswick is setting up a US$13-million gluten-free plant in South Carolina
Lancaster, S.C. – A Canadian manufacturer of pita bread, bagels, pizza crust, Greek pita, flat breads and tortilla wraps is heading south.
Fancy Pokket Corporation of Moncton, N.B. is planning to build the largest gluten-free bakery in North America at Lancaster County’s new Air-Rail Business Park, reports the CharlotteObserver.com.
Fancy Pokket is investing US$13 million in the new plant, which could be operational by early 2014. The plant will likely start production with 25 employees.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce says the plant is expected to generate 68 new jobs over the next five years.
Mike Timami, president of Fancy Pokket, says state and local officials have been supportive of the venture, and “South Carolina provided the right business environment for our expansion. We look forward to getting up and running.”
The Department of Commerce says the new plant will be 57,000 sq. ft. The company will manufacture its range of gluten-free products, including conventional bread, hot dog, hamburger buns, bagels, pizza crust, flatbread and desserts. The new facility will provide these products to customers nationally and internationally.
In addition to production lines, the facility will have a testing lab and a research and development department, reports GreenvilleOnline.com.
The gluten-free product sales are a US$2.6 billion market, Timani told GreenvilleOnline.com. Projections are sales will rise to US$6.2 billion by 2018, and Fancy Pokket wants a share of that market.
Timani hired a site consultant to expand his business, which he started in 1989 with a 1,000-sq.-ft.- facility. The company now employs about 55 people at its 45,000-sq.-ft. plant in Moncton.