New food facility bringing dozens of jobs to Valdosta

Valdosta-Lowndes County Development AuthorityThis artist's concept picture shows the building in the Westside Business Park that will be taken over by Bimbo QSR for a food processing facility.

VALDOSTA — A new food processing plant is coming to Lowndes County and is bringing 74 jobs with it, the governor announced Tuesday.

Bimbo QSR, a subsidiary of the Mexican company Grupo Bimbo, is investing more than $25 million in the new plant, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement.

Bimbo QSR produces hot dog, hamburger and sandwich buns for fast-food restaurants, and has 37 bakeries in more than 21 companies, according to the governor's office.

Work to bring the facility to Valdosta began in February, said Andrea Schruijer, executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority.

“It’s been a fascinating project,” she said.

Bimbo is buying a 100,000-square-foot building from the authority in the Westside Business Park for $3.3 million, she said.

The building was deliberately constructed unfinished, with a dirt floor and unfinished paving, so a buyer could customize the structure as needed, Schruijer said.

The development authority is spending $800,000 on infrastructure improvements for the plant, she said.

An opening date for the plant was not immediately available.

“We are very excited to partner with the state to bring this manufacturing site to Georgia, and to collaborate in the economic development of this area,” said Al Gomez, general manager and vice president of Bimbo QSR’s U.S. division. “This investment will allow us to serve our customers more effectively in the Southeast region of the U.S. One of our cultural pillars is ‘valuing the person,’ and we look forward to the job opportunities that we will create in the state, in Lowndes County and with the city of Valdosta.”

“We are pleased to welcome Bimbo QSR to our community,” said Brad Folsom, development authority board chairman. “Their decision to locate in Valdosta and Lowndes County is a testament to our community’s commitment to a positive economic environment and a well-trained and readily available workforce. It is even more gratifying that the company’s decision to locate will be in a speculative building built by the authority to attract high-quality jobs such as those being created.”

“It’s great to see this internationally recognized company invest in Lowndes County,” Kemp said. “Bringing high-paying jobs to every part of Georgia – no matter the zip code – has been a key priority of my administration since day one.

People interested in careers with Bimbo QSR can visit www.bimboqsr.com and click on the careers tab.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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