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Born in a garage, Ossid now leads the globe in food packaging solutions

By Lawrence Bivins   Proximity to the nation’s major poultry producers makes Rocky Mount a convenient base for Ossid LLC, a diversified leader in packaging equipment and solutions. But there are other Twin County assets that make the company, part of the ProMach Group, productive and profitable.   The company’s customers venture from near and far to Ossid for training at the company’s 65,000-sq.-ft. facility at Fountain Industrial Park. “They come from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries,” says Ernie Newell, vice president and general manager at Ossid. The company’s machines are sold to buyers as far away Australia, Europe and South America. “We have customers coming from all those locations to visit us.” Ossid’s operations are about 75 minutes from RDU International Airport, and Rocky Mount’s quality hotel space is easily capable of accommodating customers visiting the company either for training or as part of ...

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Barnhill Contracting Company’s Family Friendly Approach Yields 70 Years of Success

By Lawrence Bivins   Across three generations, one aspect of the business culture at Barnhill Contracting Company has remained unchanged. “We fulfill our word,” says Allen Barnhill, senior vice president, who has been with the company for 40 years. “What we say we’re going to do, we do.” Integrity lies at the heart of the company’s corporate values. The firm was founded in 1949 and currently employs 1,000 people across 12 North Carolina locations. “All employees are treated like family,” says Barnhill. “When an employee has a problem, we try to help.” The philosophy, while not simply the right thing to do, also makes strategic business sense. “Our employees feel that this is their company,” he adds. “They take ownership because of the way the family treats them.”    About 60 percent of the company’s work involves site infrastructure and highway construction. Among its first big ...

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Defense contractors seek non-military growth path

By COREY DAVIS Staff Writer, Rocky Mount Telegram Friday, March 16, 2018 With cutbacks in the federal defense budget, small businesses dependent on military contracts must find different ways to bring in revenue. A strategy created last year called the North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative has been implemented to help the state’s defense-reliant industries expand beyond their military contracts. The initiative is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. The North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative is managed through a partnership by the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and N.C. State University’s Industry Expansion Solutions, a unit of N.C. State University, which helps organizations or companies grow, innovate and prosper, according to the organization’s website. The initiative was highlighted during the first of several town hall meetings across the state on&n ...

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Governor Cooper Announces Largest Ever Manufacturing Investment in Rural North Carolina

Eastern North Carolina welcomes Triangle Tire to the region.

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Governor Cooper and Corning Incorporated Strike Agreement to Bring 428 New Jobs to North Carolina

Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) will create 428 jobs over three years in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper announced today, as the company locates a warehouse facility in Edgecombe County and plans an expansion of manufacturing operations in Durham.

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Inside The Cheesecake Factory's Rocky Mount Factory

By Lawrence Bivins   Nothing puts the special in special occasions like a slice of Oreo® Dream Extreme from The Cheesecake Factory. Just ask Abbey Shaffer, a proud mom of three young over-achievers who recently brought home good grades and high honors to close out the school year. “Every bite of this is a celebration,” says Shaffer, who lives in Raleigh. “It’s decadent, delicious and beautiful. And what kid doesn’t love Oreos?!” And it turns out the Oreo® Dream Extreme – or any of approximately 70 varieties of Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes -- aren’t made far away. Since 2006, the California-based restaurant company has operated a facility at Whitaker Business & Industry Center near Rocky Mount that churns out about 11 million cheesecakes annually. Running two shifts, the plant and its 350 employees bake, finish and package cheesecakes for distribution to Cheesecake Factory locations in the eastern U.S. and abroad. The facility also ships ...

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Distributor to expand operations

By Cory Davis Staff Writer, Rocky Mount Telegram   An agriculture equipment distributor is expanding operations in Nash County by investing more than $11 million and adding more than 30 jobs at its facility in the Battleboro community. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that LS Tractor USA at 6900 Corporation Parkway in Battleboro will invest $11.5 million to add employees and upgrade offices and facilities. With the expansion, LS Tractor USA will create 31 jobs over the next five years. LS Tractor USA sells and distributes tractors and agricultural equipment produced by LS Mtron, a corporation based in South Korea and parent company of LS Tractor USA. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but will average $44,252. The average wage in Nash County is $38,105. “Nash County is a wonderful place to live, work and do business,” Cooper said. “I’m pleased that LS Tractor USA has decided to keep growing right here. North Carolina’s exceptional workforce, bus ...

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CIFI Succeeds with Focus on Healthy Eating Trends

While North Carolina leads the nation in sweet potato cultivation, the cop has been something of an unsung hero in the state’s agribusiness community. That perception is changing thanks in part to a Nash County company now promoting food and beverage ingredients that align with today’s healthier, nutrient-rich diets.

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At Poppies, Success is a Family Affair

     When Bobby Davis meets with Belgium-based owners of Poppies International NV, he knows what their initial question will be. “It’s the first thing they ask about: ‘the employees – are they happy’,” says Davis, who is controller at Poppies’ 85-worker operation in Nash County’s Whitaker Business & Industry Center.   Poppies International makes cream puffs and mini éclairs distributed under the Poppies and Delizza brand names, as well as private labels for retail grocers. Products made at its U.S. headquarters in Rocky Mount are shipped frozen to buyers across the U.S., Canada and Asia.   Still family-owned after 40 years in business, Poppies views its workforce like, well, family. And some of the plant’s employees literally are. On its staff are a number of brothers, sons and spouses. Davis’s wife, for example, works as Poppies’ logistics manager. “It’s a family-run business, and they have ...

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Nutkao’s Taste for Quality Makes Nash County a Winning Destination

 By Lawrence Bivins   Italy’s love affair with sweet treats began 800 years ago when Venetian merchants acquired sugarcane farms in what today is Lebanon. The story’s latest chapter has brought opportunity to Rocky Mount in the form of Nutkao S.r.l.’s 100,000-sq.-ft. production facility at Whitaker Business & Industry Center. The company’s plant there makes nut butters laced with chocolate and other sweet flavors.   “We started out as a very small company producing hazelnut spread,” explains Davide Braida, president of Nutkao USA. Braida’s father, Giuseppe, established the parent company in 1982 in the Cuneo province of northern Italy. Still privately held, Nutkao exceeded 120 million euros (nearly $130 million) in sales in 2016. Its products are sold to consumers as toppings and dipping packs that contain breadsticks for easy snacking. Nutkao supplies spreads for private-label buyers such as Kroger and Aldi supermarkets, and its buyers also in ...

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