South Coast Baking Co. to Open Springdale Facility, Employ 150

South Coast Baking Co. of Irvine, Calif., said Wednesday that it will open a manufacturing and warehouse facility in Springdale and employ 150.

The company, a leading wholesale manufacturer of frozen bakery products, distributes its products to more than 38 countries. It is the exclusive frozen cookie dough producer for Broomfield, Colo.-based Mrs. Fields.

South Coast Baking is also a supplier for Panera Bread of St. Louis and Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville.

"South Coast Baking's decision to locate in Springdale adds to Arkansas's reputation as a hub for food manufacturers," said Gov. Mike Beebe, who attended an event announcing the facility on Wednesday in Springdale. "The combination of our skilled workforce and a central location for product distribution continues to draw companies here."

The company, which already has a facility in Irvine, Calif., said Springdale's central U.S. location will "significantly mitigate the company’s existing transportation costs."

The company will invest $8.7 million to transform an existing 104,000-SF building at 800 S. 40th St. in Springdale. It said it will pay an average hourly wage of $25 an hour. 

"After carefully considering several regions to expand our California facility, Springdale proved to be a perfect fit for South Coast Baking," Kent Hayden, South Coast Baking's CEO, said in a news release. 

"The city provides us with an opportunity to establish our roots in an economically viable and business-friendly climate," he said. "Ultimately our increased production capacity along with geographical freight efficiencies will allow us to better serve our customers."

The company said incentives from the state of Arkansas, including money from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund, "were instrumental" in recruiting it to Arkansas.

South Coast Baking officials said they expect initially to employ 80 workers, then add 40 more in year two. They expect to reach 150 employees during the operation's third year. Remodeling efforts begin in November, with operations set to begin in July.

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse called the announcement "tremendous news."

"The emphasis on job growth in our city has and continues to pay huge dividends in our economy," he said. "South Coast Baking is adding a significant number of new jobs and will pay an outstanding wage. That's good news for our workforce and our city."

The company said people interested in employment with South Coast Baking Company can call the company's hiring center by at 1-800-478-4252.