Safe Foods Corp. of North Little Rock on Thursday marked the grand opening of its new $15 million, 120,000-SF headquarters on 22 acres at 1501 E 8th St.
Safe Foods’ Cecure product is used by food companies to eliminate pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter, while also extending the safe shelf-life of food products. It has clients in 10 countries and its technologies are used to protect more than 250 million servings of food per day, the company said.
The expansion created 35 jobs and brought three disparate operations under one roof for the first time in the company’s history. The new facility also allows the company to manufacture, rather than outsource that function, under wholly owned subsidiary La Petite Roche Technologies.
CEO Chris Coleman and Mayor Joe Smith spoke at the event, which also marked the company’s 20th year in business.
“For the first time in Safe Foods history, 20 years, all of our teams are here together, under one roof,” Coleman said. “That has provided us with some unique opportunities for innovation and collaboration, and not just within our company, but also within our industry.
“In this facility, we have the ability to manufacture and blend our proprietary food processing aids, fabricate and program smart equipment that’s used to wash food being produced and test these technologies in our pilot processing plant. After that, we have the opportunity to measure performance and quality in our state-of-the art laboratories … All of this can be done without leaving this facility. It’s a first in our industry.”
Coleman said that the company can also host events and food safety awareness seminars at the new headquarters.
“There’s a lot of highly educated and highly compensated employees here …,” Smith said. “If I can increase the percentage by 1% the number of college graduates that live in North Little Rock, it’s a $40 million economic impact. So, when we have a company like this that hires these types of individuals, we’re, needless to say, all about it, no doubt.”
Smith also said this project is special because the now-renovated building had been vacant for a long time and the company has energized the area and brought jobs to it.