MAYLAND – Cumberland County officials this week shared a bit of good news to round out 2016 with the announcement of a $13.3 million investment to expand a long-time business in the western community of Mayland.
The plant, now known as Kerry, opened in 1972 as Hickory Specialties and manufactures a variety of liquid smoke food flavorings. It was acquired by Kerry Group PLC of Ireland in 2001.
Announced under the banner of the Horizon Initiative, a measure that promotes economic development, Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce president Brad Allamong, Cumberland County mayor Kenneth Carey and Crossville mayor James Mayberry said Kerry would invest $13.3 in the facility – adding approximately 18,200 square feet, making room for additional receiving and storage, production equipment, and office and conference space.
Carey said that the announcement “is vitally important to development efforts, which is to keep those companies already here in Cumberland County and the help them grow and expand as we work to attract new business and industry to our community.”
He introduced Freddy Conley, the plant manager for the Mayland operation. Conley said that while the Kerry name is not well known, the company has 51 plants across the country. Kerry’s total revenues exceed $6 billion worldwide.
Conley said that over the last 10 years the local Kerry plant has expanded about once a year. While those were small expansions, with company’s recent acquisition of a competitor company, Red Arrow Products, they were looking for synergy and ways to expand production in cost effective ways.
The liquid smoke items are used by Kerry’s customers to flavor products like hot dogs, lunch meats and hams.
“The Crossville facility was established in 1972 and is considered one of the industry leaders in liquid smoke manufacturing,” he said in a release.
According to Conley, the 18,200-square-foot expansion includes new raw material receiving, warehouse space, production equipment and office/conference space. New automated state-of-the-art production equipment will tally $2 million, and the company will also add 10 additional job positions to the 50 jobs currently at the plant. Once the expansion is complete, the Mayland facility will total almost 70,000 square feet.
Mayland is located about 14 miles west of Crossville.
“The future’s bright for Kerry’s investment, the synergies are great, the resources are here,” Conley said. “We make a food product derived from sawdust, which is pretty unique in the industry and we maintain the highest of standards.”
Mayberry said Kerry’s announcement was the community’s third existing industry expansion in the last few years. The other expansions include StonePeak Ceramics and Co-linx.
Allamong said the chamber plans to contact every existing industry in Cumberland County during 2017. The message? “We want them to expand and grow here,” he said.