Duke Food Productions, one of the top industrial food manufacturers of branded and private label brands, is returning to its founding roots by establishing its company headquarters in downtown Greenville.
The offices, which are currently under construction, will take up 12,000 square feet of space on the 3rd and 4th floors of the new Falls Park Place building at 600 S. Main Street. The company’s Research and Development managers will have a new state of the art test kitchen in the company’s headquarters, which is slated to open in January of 2017. Duke will share the building with Lululemon, Happy + Hale, Table 301 Restaurant Group’s latest concept Jianna, as well as six luxury apartments.
Fittingly, the new location is a stone’s throw away from the site where the company’s story began. 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.
“The City of Greenville represents the beginning of our company’s rich history, one that includes an evolution from wholesale sandwich sales to the retail and manufacturing industries,” said Duke CEO Andrew Smart. “We are proud to soon be one of the few, if not the only, corporate headquarters in our field downtown, and look forward to continuing our company’s legacy in Greenville over the next 100 years.”
“We are thrilled to have Duke Food Productions as an anchor tenant at Falls Park Place,” said Hughes Investments, Inc. Vice President Ryan Peiffer. “They have deep roots in Greenville and Falls Park Place was the perfect location for their corporate headquarters to come home to. The Duke Company will be a tremendous asset to both the building and downtown Greenville.”
While Eugenia Duke sold her original mayonnaise recipe to C.F. Sauer in 1929, her sandwich business continued to flourish in Greenville, eventually being taken over by the Smart family in 1964. Today, the Duke brand includes Duke Sandwich Company, which offers two local retail sandwich locations, and Duke Food Productions, one of the top private label food manufacturers in the southeast.
“Eugenia Duke was a true pioneer,” said Smart. “To think that she established a business that continues to thrive today at a time when she didn’t even have the right to vote is mind boggling to me. It was important to us to return our company to its roots and honor Eugenia’s gift to this city.”
“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,“ said Greenville Mayor Knox White. “This is also another example of Greenville’s ability to attract and support industries from a very diverse base.”
“While Duke Food’s roots run deep in the community, Greenville offers significant advantages for any corporate headquarters operation that needs access to world-class labor, unique community assets and unparalleled quality of life,” said J. Mark Farris, President/CEO Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC). “Having their new corporate headquarters in downtown validates a decades-long effort to make Greenville the best option for office projects in the Southeast.”
Duke Food Production’s existing 80,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Easley, South Carolina produces ready-to-eat dips, salads, spreads, salsas, and fresh and frozen bakery products for grocery chains and restaurants nationwide.
To keep up with the company’s explosive growth in the industry, Duke Food Productions is also announcing the acquisition of a new 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. The 110,000 square foot facility marks Duke’s first expansion outside of South Carolina. Located on 26 acres approximately 60 miles north of Dallas, the plant will manufacture many of the same ready-to-eat foods that Duke Food Productions has become known for, and allow for their transport west. The facility will also further position the company as an innovator in the field, by providing new and inventive premium deli products its partners and customers are seeking.
“It’s an honor to lead a company with such a rich and wonderful history,” said Smart. “This is an incredible time for the Duke brand, and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.”
For more information, visit www.dukefp.com or www.dukesandwich.com.