SAINT-AUGUSTIN-DE-DESMAURES, Que.—Canadian cookie and snack bar manufacturer Leclerc Group Inc. is stepping up its presence in the southern U.S.
The company announced Jan. 24 it has acquired a 110,000 sq. ft. facility in Kingsport, Tennessee and plans to invest $50 million in the new site over the next five years.
“This acquisition fits our business vision and development strategy,” Denis Leclerc, the company’s president, said in a statement. “The facility will only produce certified gluten-free products to meet special customer needs.”
The new plant will become the company’s seventh North American location and its second in the northeast Tennessee city. Leclerc plans to install a new gluten-free production line at the plant and hire about 100 workers over the next three years.
Based just outside Quebec City in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, the cookie maker has grown from a small sweets business started out of a family kitchen in 1905 to an international operation. It now exports to more than 20 countries.