PARIS, TEXAS — James Skinner Baking Co., which supplies more than 200 million pastries and baked goods per year to customers throughout the United States under the Skinner brand and other branded and private label names, is investing $25 million in a new artisan baking facility in Paris. The 390,000-square-foot plant previously was owned by Sara Lee, but was sold to New Mill Capital in September 2012. Sara Lee had operated the facility since 2001.

In opening the new plant, Skinner said it will create nearly 400 jobs for the company, which specializes in co-packing for contract food manufacturers.

The state of Texas is providing $1.8 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund to close the deal, said Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

“Today's announcement is the product of hard work from the James Skinner Co., officials here at the local level and hard-working Texans across our state who have made the phrase ‘Made in Texas' a worldwide mark of quality and dependability,” Mr. Perry said. “While the Texas Enterprise Fund helped us close this deal, it’s these investments paired with the strength of our workforce and our commitment to the conservative fiscal principles that are the foundation of our economy that make the real difference when the decision is made to expand or relocate.”

Audie Keaton, president of Skinner, added, “J. Skinner’s strategy to take artisan baking into new directions is a perfect fit for Paris. Many Paris companies are pursuing innovative solutions in the foods industry. Food and consumer goods manufacturing and packaging is Paris, Texas, and they are willing and able to accommodate industry partners with a can-do attitude. With a commitment to the craft of baking and providing unforgettable eating experiences, J. Skinner will continue to be an industry leader within our category and Paris, Texas, will be part of the recipe for success.”

The J. Skinner food legacy began in 1911 when brothers Paul and Lloyd founded the Skinner Macaroni Co. In 1979, then the sixth largest U.S. pasta producer, Skinner Macaroni was sold to Hershey Foods Corp. Four years later, ready to re-start his family heritage, grandson and current company chief executive officer Jim Skinner started J. Skinner Baking with his father, Lloyd.