RICHMOND, VA. — Wholesome Foods, Inc., a full-scale distributor of meats and cheeses, is expanding its meat processing operation with the addition of a new, US Department of Agriculture-inspected slaughter facility in Shenandoah County, Va.

The expansion will create 12 new jobs and represent nearly $1.2 million of new investment at Wholesome Foods.

“We are excited to grow our business with the help of the Commonwealth and Shenandoah County through the AFID program,” said Wes Pence, president of Wholesome Foods. “This expansion will increase our capacity, add jobs to our work force and provide a much-needed service to the community and local farmers for years to come.”

Wholesome Foods said the decision to expand followed backlogs at local meat processors that arose as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By adding in-house slaughter capacity the company now expects to be able to better control its meat processing schedule, reduce operating costs, increase production efficiencies and reduce customer lead times.

Wholesome Foods was founded in 1964 by Dean and Syvilla Pence as a home delivery service of poultry, meat and eggs to the Washington, DC, market. Today, the company operates as a full-scale food distributor supplying wholesale accounts in the mid-Atlantic as well as local home consumers with a variety of meats and cheeses.