Bob Evans Farms Inc. says it will close two food production plants in Ohio next year and beef up production at its Sulphur Springs facility.
The Ohio-based restaurant and food company plans to shut down plants in Springfield in western Ohio and Bidwell in southern Ohio next summer as it focuses on convenience foods, packaged side dishes and other higher-growth opportunities.
It's also investing $23 million or more to add lines and boost production of ready-to-eat foods at the facility in Sulphur Springs.
The plant opened in Sulphur Springs in 2004 when Bob Evans Foods converted the former Kozy Shack pudding plant to produce its line of breakfast tacos, links, sausage pattys, etc.
Just three years ago, the company completed a $16 million expansion that doubled the size of the original 52,770 square foot plant, helping boost the number of employees from the intial 60 to 190.
Sulphur Springs civic leaders have consistently praised Bob Evans Farms Inc., and coporate executives have frequently reacted in kind.
When the $16 million expansion was completed in 2009, Bob Evans Foods President Mike Townsley praised civic leaders in Sulphur Springs for working with the corporation to make the venture a success, singling out the Economic Development Corporation board of directors, and Carl Bryan and executive director Roger Feagley, in particular.
“This project received tremendous support from our friends at the Sulphur Springs Economic Developmment Corporation,” Townsley said then. “Carl Bryan and Roger Feagley were instrumental in helping us build the first portion of the plant in 2003, and they’ve played a critical role in making this expansion happen here today. Without their guidance and leadership, we wouldn’t be here. Hopkins County can be proud of the EDC for the work they do attracting businesses to the area.”
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