Amy's Kitchen delays Greenville plant opening

by Eric Schroeder
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PETALUMA, CALIF. — Amy’s Kitchen, a maker of natural and organic convenience foods, said it is delaying the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C., for a few years. The company originally announced in May that it would invest $63 million to upgrade the former Sara Lee production facility with new machinery and equipment, and plans called for operations to commence by Jan. 1, 2012.

But since then, Amy’s said it has been engaged in the complex process of developing an engineering and construction plan to retrofit the facility to meet its unique manufacturing needs. Plans now call for at least an additional year of construction to complete the project.

Additionally, Amy’s said strong sales and manufacturing capacity needs have reached a point where the company has decided to reconfigure existing operations to more quickly provide the capacity to meet immediate needs.

“Right now, in order to keep pace and be fiscally responsible to all of our stakeholders, we are forced to take immediate action and use resources we have at hand for expanding our capacity,” said Mark Rudolph, chief financial officer of Amy’s Kitchen. “This means we urgently need to turn our attention to problem solving with existing and fully operational plants in Oregon and California.”

Amy’s Kitchen expects to produce a select line of frozen entrees at the new facility in Greenville County. In addition to South Carolina, Amy’s Kitchen has production facilities in California, Oregon and England.

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