Former H.J. Heinz Plant in Florence to be Sold


Ruiz Foods announced an expansion Monday through the acquisition of the former H.J. Heinz facility in Florence, a move that will bring more than 500 jobs to the Pee Dee.

Once the facility is renovated and equipped, initial manufacturing operations will begin in 2015. Over the next several years as the facility swings into full production, Ruiz Foods will employ more than 500 workers.

“After conducting an initial search, we quickly narrowed our choice to this facility in Florence, South Carolina,” added Cullen. “My compliments to the State of South Carolina, the people of Florence County and the Florence County Economic Development Partnership — their enthusiasm, cooperation, and flexibility made it possible to make our decision quickly.”

Ruiz’s announcement comes quickly on the heels of H.J. Heinz leaving the facility, located in the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative Touchstone Energy Commerce City near Interstate 95 and S.C. Highway 327, it built in 2009. Heinz announced last November that it would be laying off 200 employees over the next several months at the 225,000-square-foot frozen meal processing plant. The state-of-the-art food processing facility did not go into operation until August 2011.

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