King’s Hawaiian has announced plans to expand its bakery in Georgia, investing $85 million and hiring more than 160 new employees, says Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp.

The company, based in Los Angeles, announced Tuesday that it would construct a 150,000-square-footbuilding across the street from its existing production plant in Oakwood, northeast of Atlanta. The new plant, scheduled to open in fall 2023, will allow it to increase production “significantly," says King's Hawaiian. The company currently has more than 700 employees in Oakwood.

"Great job creators like King’s Hawaiian continue to expand their operations here in the Peach State because they know we're a safe bet for success," said Governor Brian Kemp. "Since coming to Georgia, King’s Hawaiian has worked with the No. 1 workforce training program in the country, Quick Start, to recruit skilled workers who can meet the demands of today's market. We are looking forward to continuing to work with this brand in the coming years to provide further opportunities for Hall County and the entire State of Georgia."

The company is expected to use Georgia’s Quick Start program, which provides training tailored to employers, for new workers. Georgia officials didn’t say how much the state would spend on job training.

King’s Hawaiian CEO Mark Taira said the company has benefited from food science, manufacturing, and robotics partnerships in the state. The highly mechanized plant operates 24 hours a day and was producing 75% of the company’s products by 2019.

King’s Hawaiian was founded in 1950 in Hilo, Hawaii, and operated in Honolulu before opening a bakery in Torrance, California, in 1977 and eventually shifting all business to the mainland. The Georgia plant was opened in 2010 to improve distribution of the company’s breads on the East Coast and added a fourth production line in 2020 at a cost of about $30 million.

The company would be eligible for a Georgia tax credit allowing it to annually deduct $1,250 per job from state income taxes, up to $1 million over five years, as long as workers make at least $31,300 a year. Oakwood and Hall County officials could also grant property tax breaks.

King’s Hawaiian is on the current Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery “Top 50 Snack & Bakery Companies” list. Click here to view the current “Top 50” rankings.

Source: Bakery to invest $85M in Georgia expansion, hiring 160, AP News