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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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Crown LSP Builds on its Reputation for Responsiveness

  By Lawrence Bivins   Though much about the logistics business has changed in the 30 years since Deborah and Greg Hodges founded Crown LSP Group, the same fundamentals apply to the company’s value proposition: quality, flexibility, and responsiveness to both customer and community needs.   “Our first office was in Kenly,” says Hodges, who started the firm with contacts and experience gained after working for a trucking company. “We needed to be near the truck stops.”   The company started modestly as a national freight brokerage. Today, Crown LSP provides a full range of transportation, logistics and warehousing services, occupying 600,000 square feet of space across two Rocky Mount facilities. “We do a wider range of things than our competitors,” says Hodges.   Both sites are former textile plants and sit near the junction of I-95 and U.S. Highway 64. Rocky Mount’s convenience to mid-Atlantic port complexes gives Crown custo ...

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Keihin Carolina System Technology Expands in Edgecombe County

Governor Cooper Announces Expansion by Keihin Carolina System Technology in Edgecombe CountyAutomotive Supplier will add 42 jobs and invest more than $13 million RALEIGH Feb 2, 2017 Keihin Carolina System Technology will expand its automotive assembly operations in Edgecombe County, adding 42 jobs over the coming three years, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company plans to invest more than $13 million at its Tarboro facility. “This expansion shows confidence in our workforce, our economy and our state as a great place for world-class employers to invest and grow,” Governor Cooper said. “As a native of eastern North Carolina, I know how critical skilled manufacturing jobs like these are to Edgecombe County and other rural parts of North Carolina.” Keihin Carolina will hire production associates and technical staff. While compensation will vary by position, average salaries for the new jobs will be $32,230, in line with Edg ...

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By Lawrence Bivins   When temperatures drop at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, many of the 75,000+ Carolina Panther fans there proudly wrap themselves in branded all-weather blankets. The 50” x 60” throws are double-layered and water resistant. They come with the menacing image of “Sir Furr” that Panther fans love. They sell for $130.    And they are made in Tarboro, North Carolina.   “We currently make officially-licensed stadium blankets for NFL teams all over the country exclusively for The Northwest Company based in Roslyn, New York,” says Brent Birkhoff, chief operating officer at Glenoit Fabrics. The company, a division of Monterey Mills, serves teams and fans from its 285,000-sq.-ft. plant on Main Street.   Glenoit was founded more than half a century ago. It became part of Monterey Mills through an acquisition in 2013. Known for its flexibility and quick turnaround times, the company is a major global supplier of comfor ...

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Kanban’s Rise as a Logistics Powerhouse Showcases Twin Counties’ Global Connections

   By Lawrence Bivins  One consequence of globalization is that today’s companies must keep focused on core aspects of their business in order stay competitive. Succeed-minded manufacturers, for example, concentrate on production while partnering with third-party logistics providers (3PL) in creating and maintaining smooth supply networks and distribution channels.   Companies in the Mid-Atlantic have the advantage of working with Kanban Logistics to build reliable and affordable connections to buyers and suppliers worldwide. “Our business model is all about economies-of-scale,” explains Billy Wooten, chief executive officer of the Tarboro-based company. The firm’s customers can tap a complete menu of warehouse, handling, packaging, transportation, e-fulfillment and other services. “Companies can share our expertise, equipment and technology instead of having to build their own supply-chains,” he says.   A family-owned company whose nam ...

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At Babington Technology, Feeding People is a Global Industry By Lawrence Bivins

 Bob Kaczorowski has been a satisfied customer of Babington Technology LLC since 2006. As program director for the Air National Guard’s Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer program, he oversees efforts to provide hot meals to large numbers of people adversely impacted by hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. His unit owns 20 mobile kitchens made by Babington. “We can feed thousands of people in a very short time,” Kaczoroski says.  As part of his work, Kaczoroski must ensure the Guard’s relief personnel understand not just how to set up and cook with Babington’s equipment but also maintain it properly and troubleshoot any problems that may occur in its use. He and his staff have received training in disassembling, diagnosing and repairing the state-of-the-art gear at Babington Technology’s sprawling corporate campus in Rocky Mount. “The training there is very hands-on,” he says.  Training is included in the cost of Babington&rsq ...

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The timeline could be a tale of miraculous resurrection. In fact, the announced revival Tuesday of the once-left-for-dead CSX transportation hub in eastern North Carolina, was about determination and the work of skilled, tried-true economic development professionals.

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