Litehouse Acquires Sky Valley Foods, Invests $46 Million in First East Coast Production Facility
- by Anne Allen
RICHMOND, VA - Litehouse will invest $46 million to acquire and expand Sky Valley Foods and establish its first East Coast production facility in the City of Danville. The company will also create an additional 160 new jobs over the next five years.
“For some time Litehouse has been looking to offer products that could be sold in the center aisles of the grocery store. Before moving forward, we needed to ensure that the products we brought to market had the same high quality standards and reliance on real ingredients as our core Litehouse products,” said Kelly Prior, President of Litehouse. “As we looked at Sky Valley Foods and their commitment to real food, real ingredients, and better quality, we found great synergies.”
According to a press release, Sky Valley Foods Founder Rachel Kruse will join the Litehouse team to help facilitate the strategy and direction of the Organicville and Sky Valley brands and products. Rachel’s extensive experience and industry reputation as a leader in natural dressings and condiments will be key as Litehouse looks to provide additional opportunities for consumers to enjoy the products under the Organicville and Sky Valley brands.
“I am very excited to join the Litehouse team and have the opportunity to continue driving the development of products that promote better eating and meet the consumer’s growing demand for better-for-you products,” said Kruse.
With the acquisition, Litehouse will also acquire a 132,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility located in Danville, Virginia. This facility will be a critical component in continuing to support the growing demand for Sky Valley, Organicville, and Litehouse products across the U.S. and Canada.
“Litehouse built its reputation on offering best-in-class customer service and the addition of Sky Valley Foods is a strategic move to provide our East Coast customers with a local Litehouse manufacturing facility. Coupled with our Idaho, Michigan, and Utah facilities, we continue to expand our ability to meet growing consumer demand with state-of-the-art manufacturing operations. We are excited and appreciative for the opportunity to become part of the Danville, Virginia community. At Litehouse, one of our core values is stewardship and we are committed to having a positive impact on the community of Danville and our new Employee Owners,” said Prior.
According to a press release, the state of Virginia successfully competed with Utah and South Carolina for the project.
“Litehouse’s decision to take root in the City of Danville and establish its first East Coast production facility is another great example of how Southern Virginia’s industry-responsive training programs and highly skilled workforce create an ideal environment for manufacturers to thrive,” said Governor Northam. “This flourishing company sets the bar for corporate responsibility in its industry, and we look forward to many years of shared prosperity for Litehouse, its dedicated owners-employees, and the Commonwealth.”
Litehouse has five other manufacturing facilities in the United States located in Michigan, Utah, and Idaho.
“Many companies select Virginia to establish East Coast operations, which is a strong testament to the Commonwealth’s unparalleled assets and business reputation,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are proud to welcome Litehouse to Virginia’s corporate roster and thank the company for retaining valuable jobs and creating 160 new opportunities in the City of Danville.”
The press release detailed the steps it took for Viriginia to secure the project with Litehouse. Governor Northam approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant in the amount of $340,000 and a loan in the amount of $220,000, both from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, for the project.
Additionally, Litehouse is eligible for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as Sales and Use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support Litehouse employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
“We’re so excited to welcome the national brand Litehouse to our community,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “Strategically, we have wanted to build a food processing base in Danville because of the unused capacity that Danville Utilities has in water and wastewater infrastructure. With Litehouse joining Nestle in Airside Industrial Park, we now have two leaders in the food industry.”
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