COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Dozens of jobs will be coming to Columbus County as more food processing plants open.
Tortimex is one of two new food processign plants that are setting up in Columbus County. The company will produce corn and flour tortillas.
"We're glad this is a really nice area, very good for food manufactures," said J.R. Esquivel. "The port is very close. 97, 74 being a future interstate. It's just a good area. I've been surprised and glad the county is going after food manufacturers."
Tortimex plans to hire at least 20 more employees within the next month.
Monday, the Columbus County Economic Development Commission announced that Nice Blends Corp. will offer 54 jobs over three years near Whiteville.
The business will produce sweet-potato fries, pies, and salt and pepper packets in their new facility.
Nice Blends, founded in 1992 by President Barrie Nadi, is moving its operations from Bronx, New York.
The New York-based firm purchased a 57,000-square-foot building in the Southeast Regional Park on Highway 130.
"Columbus County is an ideal location for our production facility," said Nadi in a statement. "The area is home to many high quality sweet potato growers and its proximity to Interstate 95 provides excellent access to our customers along the east coast."
According to the NC Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Columbus County farmers harvested an estimated 1,900 acres of sweet potatoes in 2008.
Columbus County's estimated unemployment rate was over 13% in March 2009.