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Potato roll maker will open bakery in Georgia

May 16, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The potato roll has become a hit in the Deep South, so much so that Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc. is expanding into that region with a new bakery in Valdosta, Ga., the first one the company has opened outside of Pennsylvania.

Ground is being broken today on the 220,000-square-foot plant on a 40-acre site. The plant will employ about 100 people, and production is expected to begin in the fall of 2008, Executive Vice President Ron Gipe said.

"The Florida market has been very good to us. It's just a long way from here to Miami," Gipe said earlier this week. "We need a southern plant bad."

The plant will be about the same size as the Martin's Bakery at 1000 Potato Roll Lane in Chambersburg, which was built in 1978, according to the company Web site. Martin's was founded by Lois and Lloyd Martin in 1957, and also owns Nibble with Gibble's Potato Chips.

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The Martins worked out of their home for many years, and originally marketed its breads and rolls to area farmers markets and grocery stores, but Gipe said the company now has warehousing and distribution sites in several states. The company has more than 500 employees, he said.

Gipe said the family-owned company is not releasing a figure for the construction cost of the new plant. The company announcement stated that Martin's had "reached an agreement with the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority to locate its first satellite production facility in Valdosta."

"State and local authorities have been very committed to this project and have provided significant incentives to induce Martin's to choose the Valdosta location," the announcement states.

The advantages of the site include an "excellent labor force pool, good interstate logistics and excellent community support with established infrastructure," according to the announcement.

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