USA — leading salty snacks company Benestar Brands LLC, has announced plans to invest US$2.5 million to build a new tortilla chip manufacturing and distribution facility in Scioto County, Ohio.

The new facility, which will include warehousing capacity and bring the two operations under the same roof, will also act as a regional consolidation center for pork snacks, which will continue to be produced in the company’s existing Portsmouth, Ohio, facility.

The facility will add to Benestar’s existing footprint in Chicago, Illinois, Arlington, Texas, City of Industry, California, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Saltillo, Mexico.

In collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, and Scioto County Economic Development, the expansion is being supported by a tax credit from the Ohio Department of Development and a $100,000 JobsOhio Grant.

“We’re excited to expand our existing operations in Scioto County and be partnering with the Southern Ohio Port Authority and Scioto County Commissioners on expanding our physical footprint,” said Bruce Myers, president of Benestar Brands.

 “The region has proven to be a good business partner; receiving additional support from our partnership with OhioSE and JobsOhio. We see this as an opportunity to leverage the favorable logistics to both the Northeast and Southeast regions and leverage a local team with expertise in food production.”

OhioSE President Mike Jacoby said the Evans Food Group has long been a valuable employer in Scioto County and added that its expansion into a tortilla chip line secures its future there and will add quality jobs to the market. In light of this, Benestar said the new plant will bring 40 new jobs to the region.

Benestar was formed in 2019 when US investment firm Highlander Partners purchased the pork rind business Evans Food Group. It then went on to acquire Miller Baking Company, the owner of the Pretzilla brand of pretzel bites and buns, the following year.

The Benestar line-up also incorporates brands inherited from deals struck by Evans for Turkey Creek Snacks and Gayton Foods. It includes the Mac’s and Porq pork rinds brands, and Chicas Chips and Caze de Oro tortilla chips.

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