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Duke Foods moving headquarters to Greenville

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Duke Food Productions, an industrial food manufacturer of branded and private label brands, is moving its company headquarters to downtown Greenville, close to where the company first got its start.

The offices, which are currently under construction, will occupy 12,000-square-feet of space on the third and fourth floors of the new Falls Park Place building at 600 S. Main St. Completion is expected in February 2017. The corporate headquarters are currently located in Easley, at the company’s 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, where it produces ready‐to‐eat dips, salads, spreads, salsas, and fresh and frozen bakery products for grocery chains and restaurants nationwide.

Duke Food Productions expects to have its headquarters moved to 600 S. Main St. early next year. (Photo by Teresa Cutlip)According to a news release, in 1917, Eugenia Duke began selling her signature spread sandwiches up and down Main Street to local drug stores, textile mills and World War I soldiers stationed at Camp Sevier. Made with her family’s homemade mayonnaise recipe, the spreads were an instant hit, and in the spring of 1919, Eugenia Duke sold more than 10,000 sandwiches in one day. She eventually established a manufacturing factory at the site where the Wyche Pavilion stands today.

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be back in Greenville,” Duke Food Productions CEO Andrew Smart said at the site on Tuesday. “Obviously, with the rich history we’ll celebrate next year with the centennial anniversary – then me being a part of the family and growing up here –it’s a very big deal for me.”

Smart said his great uncle was Eugenia Duke’s bookkeeper. “My family has been a part of this from the beginning.”

Smart said the company’s corporate, executive, marketing, sales and accounting operations will move to the new Greenville location.

“Basically all of the administrative team will be here, plus the additional people we continue to add. We are constantly adding to the team. We’ll bring about 30 people here to begin with,” he said.

Ryan Peiffer, vice president of Hughes Investments Inc., the developer of Falls Park Place, praised the company’s decision to bring its headquarters to Greenville.

“We are thrilled to have Duke Food Productions as an anchor tenant at Falls Park Place,” Peiffer said in the release. “They have deep roots in Greenville and Falls Park Place was the perfect location for their corporate headquarters to come home to.”

Duke will share the building with Lululemon, Happy and Hale, Table 301 Restaurant Group’s latest concept Jianna, as well as six luxury apartments.

“The city of Greenville and Duke Food Productions have shared a long history together and we’re excited that what Ms. Eugenia Duke started 100 years ago will continue to flourish right here in our city,” Greenville Mayor Knox White said in the release. “This is also another example of Greenville’s ability to attract and support industries from a very diverse base.”

In addition to the Greenville announcement, Duke Food Productions this week acquired a manufacturing plant in Bonham, Texas. Set to open in the second quarter of 2017, the company anticipates a $10 million capital investment and the addition of 200 new full‐time jobs at the location over the next 5 years, according to the release. The 110,000-square-foot facility marks Duke’s first expansion outside of South Carolina.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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