RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Hubbard Peanut Company, Inc. (Hubs) will invest $1.6 million to establish a new operation in the City of Franklin. The company will create ten new jobs, increase their purchase of Virginia-grown peanuts by a third, and lead to additional investments in their Sedley facility. The project will locate in a former grocery store, helping revitalize a shopping center complex along the City’s main commercial corridor. The property is also part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the City of Franklin and Southampton County.
“Our administration is focused on creating jobs and stimulating economic development across the Commonwealth, particularly in our agriculture sector, Virginia’s largest private industry,” said Governor Northam. “We are proud to support quality, family-owned businesses like Hubbard Peanut Company that are growing opportunity and helping to revitalize our rural communities. With this new venture and their commitment to using Virginia-grown peanuts, the company will ensure their success is shared with farmers and producers throughout the region.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the City of Franklin and Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. to secure this project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $40,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) fund for the project, which the City of Franklin will match with local funds. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. This is the first Governor’s economic development announcement in the City of Franklin since 2003.
“Virginia has been a longtime leader in the specialty food and beverage sectors, and Hubbard Peanut Company has been a pioneer in this industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Their commitment to customer service, product quality, local sourcing, and the highest levels of food safety makes them a company we are proud to support.”
Founded in 1954 by Dot and HJ Hubbard, the Hubs brand has received national and international acclaim and is considered the founder of the gourmet peanut category by the American Peanut Council. The founders’ brand, the process they pioneered, and the category of Virginia peanuts they launched continue to be synonymous with exceptional quality and the best of what Virginia has to offer.
“As Hubbard Peanut Company, Inc. celebrates 65 years of history in Virginia, we are excited to position ourselves for continued growth and sustainability in the community that has supported our family business for so many years,” said Lynne Rabil, President and CEO of Hubbard Peanut Company. “The next generation of Hubbard family members to operate in Southampton County and the City of Franklin stands on a firm foundation of methodical and judicious growth coupled with the spirit of volunteerism and community stewardship modeled by our parents. It has been a great pleasure to work with City Manager Amanda Jarratt, the City of Franklin, and Southampton County, and the Commonwealth’s AFID program to bring our long awaited expansion to fruition.”
“The expansion of Hubbard Peanut Company into the City of Franklin is tremendous news for the entire Franklin Southampton community,” said City of Franklin Vice-Mayor Barry Cheatham. “The story of the City of Franklin is one of resiliency and tradition. Today’s announcement reemphasizes our city’s story. The Hubbard Peanut Company expansion gives life to a shuttered building along our main commercial corridor and validates that the City of Franklin is open for business.”
The Hubbard Peanut Company is strongly committed to the Franklin-Southampton community and will locate this project in a former grocery store, revitalizing a shopping center complex situated at an important gateway to the City of Franklin. While located in the City, the property is part of an innovative revenue-sharing agreement between the City of Franklin and Southampton County, ensuring the project will bring important new tax revenue to both localities. The new location will provide space for new processing capabilities, warehousing and logistics, and create an enhanced marketplace for Hubbard Peanut Company products and other Virginia specialties.
“I am excited to join with the Governor in announcing an investment of $1.6 million and ten new jobs with Hubbard Peanut Company, Inc. in the City of Franklin,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “This investment will surely contribute to the economic and job growth in southwestern part of my district.”
“Congratulations to Hubbard Peanut Company on its 65th anniversary,” said Delegate Roslyn Tyler. “The expansion of the Hubbard Peanut Company will create new jobs in the City of Franklin. Small businesses make up 97 percent of the Virginia economy. Therefore, I am always pleased to support new job creation which helps to grow the economy in the City of Franklin and rural Virginia.”
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