KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Local and state officials, and Leclerc Foods announced Tuesday morning the food producer will establish its U.S. headquarters and expand its business in Kingsport.
The expansion included an investment of $49 million to establish a second facility in Kingsport and create 105 jobs. That facility will include a new manufacturing line for granola bars, warehousing and distribution space.
Since opening its first Kingsport facility in 2008, it has undergone two expansions.
“Since first establishing a new manufacturing plant in Kingsport eight years ago, Leclerc Foods has expanded considerably. Now, Leclerc Foods is doubling its Kingsport workforce and adding high quality office jobs that will have an even bigger impact on Sullivan County,” said Governor Haslam. “Leclerc Foods has been an important part of this thriving sector, growing to employ around 100 Tennesseans. “
Leclerc plans to renovate and upgrade an existing facility in Kingsport. It’s expected to begin work on that building by the end of 2016. The renovation work is expected to be complete by mid-2017, according to a release.
“We have chosen to operate a second plant in Kingsport because this acquisition fits our business vision and corporate development strategy. This plant will manufacture certified gluten-free products exclusively. It will allow us to position ourselves near our U.S. clients and meet their specifics needs,” said Jean-Sébastien Leclerc, vice president of co-manufacturing and manufacturing infrastructure at Leclerc Foods.
Lecler Foods, a Canadian food manufacturer, was founded in 1905. It manufactures cookies, snack bars and crackers. It currently employs more than 650 people in six facilities and distributes its products to roughly 20 different countries.
“It is a great honor to have Leclerc Foods choose Kingsport and the state of Tennessee as the location of its U.S. headquarters and second operations facility. This investment by Leclerc Foods shows confidence that it can find a great location, operate in a pro-business environment and hire a workforce which can meet the demands of its customers by locating this facility here in Kingsport and Sullivan County,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said. “We hope to see Leclerc Foods continue to grow here, and we are so thankful it chose to invest in our community and our state once again.”