RICHMOND, VA. — Flowers Foods, Inc. has unveiled plans to invest $25 million to expand and transform its Lynchburg, Va., baking facility into an organic plant. The facility operated for more than 40 years.
“This expansion represents a tremendous opportunity for us to meet the increasing demand for our Dave’s Killer Bread (D.K.B.) organic, Non-GMO Project verified bread,” said Bradley K. Alexander, chief operating officer of Flowers Foods. “We chose to convert our Lynchburg bakery for a number of reasons, including its geographic location, access to key interstate highways, and the partnership we have with local and state agencies. However, one of the more compelling reasons was the outstanding team of individuals we have at our bakery. We look forward to the successful completion of this project by late summer.”
The conversion of the plant is expected to be similar to that done to Flowers Foods’ Tuscaloosa, Ala., baking facility back in 2016, the company said.
Flowers Foods said the expansion will create 15 new jobs at the baking plant. The converted facility will serve the mid-Atlantic market, Flowers Foods said.
Flowers Foods acquired the D.K.B. brand in the fall of 2015 for approximately $275 million. At the time, Flowers Foods said the acquisition of D.K.B. would give it an organic baking presence in the northwest U.S., a region where the company had a limited presence. Over the past several years company executives have talked openly about expanding the D.K.B. brand into a more national brand via Flowers Foods’ expansive distribution network.
In addition to D.K.B., which is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in accordance with the National Organic Program and verified non-G.M.O. by the Non-GMO Project, Flowers Foods’ organic portfolio includes Alpine Valley Bakery products and Barowsky’s Organic bread, buns and rolls.
News of the expansion was welcomed by government officials in Virginia, which successfully competed with other states to get Flowers Foods to make the changes to its Virginia plant.
Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia approved a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program to assist with the project.