Lakeland, already a hub for food manufacturing and distribution, is adding a new ingredient to its business palette: Mission Foods.
, maker of chips, wraps, taco shells and other tortilla products, is expanding its manufacturing and distribution operations to a facility in Lakeland, and adding 133 jobs.
According to Claudia Tritton, business development director for Lakeland's Economic Development Council
, Mission is in the process of retrofitting part of a 168,000-square-foot warehouse at 2125 Interstate Drive with manufacturing equipment and aims to be ready to produce by August 1, 2012. Tritton says distribution activities are already underway in a portion of the facility. Mission Foods could not be reached for comment.
"We love manufacturers because of the capital they offer," says Tritton. "They come in and add equipment. Once they put that equipment in, they don’t generally move it again. Mission is doing distribution from this location now. There are people there working already, just not manufacturing yet."
Tritton says Mission has 20 other manufacturing facilities around the country, including one in Georgia. Lakeland competed with Georgia for Mission's commercial business. Lakeland was Mission's final decision.
"We competed with Georgia for the project," says Tritton. "Mission has a facility there but they eventually decided on Lakeland. So we’re very fortunate to have them. The state of Florida gave them quick response training dollars
-- $1,500 per job.
"Mission's been great to work with. They’ve hit the ground running. We have Publix
, Pepperidge Farm
and Flowers Foods
here already. So we’re really happy to add Mission to the mix."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Claudia Tritton, Lakeland Economic Development Council