Rice is nice | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rice is nice

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Little Rock lands another plant for the port industrial park -- a plant that will employ 60 to 100 to prepared pre-cooked rice dishes for restaurants. I have to believe the location on river, rail and highway and proximity to rice outweighed the unspecified local and state incentives given to attract this plant. Release on jump.


Sage V Foods today announced that it will be relocating its IQF (individually quick frozen) rice plant from Texas to Little Rock, Ark.  The plant in Texas has been sold out for several years now without room to expand. 

The company will construct a new 100,000 square foot plant in the industrial park within the Port of Little Rock at an estimated cost of $20,000,000.  The new plant will more than double the current production capacity and will have ample room for expansion.  The Little Rock plant will start with 60 to 100 employees and is expected to grow to about 200 employees within two to three years.
“Food-processing companies are finding Arkansas to be an ideal place to locate,” said Governor Mike Beebe. “The addition of Sage V Foods will continue to expand this growing sector of our State’s economy. We look forward to the quality jobs the company is bringing to Little Rock.”
Sage V Foods is a privately owned company that is based out of Los Angeles, Ca.  The company specializes in manufacturing rice based ingredients for the food industry.  The company built a new rice flour mill in Stuttgart, Ark, in 2005 which has become very successful.  The new plant in Little Rock will produce IQF rice for the industrial and restaurant chain markets, and will produce IQF organic rice under Sage’s retail brand “Rice Expressions”.
Little Rock was selected as the location of the new plant because of incentives offered by local and state agencies, its proximity to the rice growing area, its logistic location in the center of the country on Interstate 40, rail access in the port, and access to waste treatment facilities that can handle cook water.  The company feels that in Little Rock it will be able to find skilled employees and that the city will be an attractive location for existing and new management personnel.
“We welcome Sage V Foods to Little Rock and know our dedicated workforce will meet the growing needs of their company,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “This announcement helps Little Rock build on the momentum we are currently experiencing after our most recent successes. We look forward to watching Sage Foods succeed in Little Rock.”
The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, AEDC, ADFA and the Port of Little Rock worked together in offering bond guarantees and assisting in infrastructure to make the project possible.
The company plans to break ground in October of 2007 and be up and running before December 2008.

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