October 21, 2013
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that California-based King’s Hawaiian, a state-of-the-art bakery and distribution company, will expand its existing operations in Oakwood, adding more than 400 new jobs in phases by 2016. When it completes this expansion, King’s Hawaiian will have invested $100 million into its Hall County operations.
“With this significant investment, King’s Hawaiian is putting bread on the table in Hall County in more ways than one,” said Deal. “In its relatively short time in Georgia, King’s Hawaiian has proved a valuable member of our corporate community, and today’s expansion announcement shows the company’s faith in our business climate and the skilled local workforce. The growth and success of King’s Hawaiian will benefit northeast Georgia for many years to come.”
King’s Hawaiian plans to double the size of its current facility in Oakwood and construct a neighboring 120,000-square-foot facility over the next year, tripling its production capacity and creating more than 400 additional jobs by 2016. The company will continue to work with the Georgia Department of Labor during its hiring process and with Georgia Quick Start, the nation’s top-ranked workforce training program.
Food processing is an $11.1 billion industry in Georgia, and King’s Hawaiian is a brand leader among more than 600 food processing companies in the state. The family-owned and operated company, known chiefly for its Hawaiian bread, operates two other bakery facilities and two restaurant operations in Southern California. In 2010, after reviewing opportunities to build a new facility in several Eastern states, the company selected Oakwood, and completed its bakery plant there in late 2011. King’s Hawaiian has already exceeded its growth expectations in Georgia, creating more than 160 jobs instead of the 126 it originally projected. The company anticipates that its upward trajectory will continue.
"Our experience in Oakwood, Hall County and the state of Georgia has been extremely positive,” said chief executive officer of King’s Hawaiian Mark Taira. “We have been able to hire terrific associates here and are impressed with local officials' ability to partner with business and to create win-win experiences for Georgia citizens and companies. In fact, we are so impressed that our plans are to have a majority of our employees working in Oakwood by about 2014 or 2015. The Aloha spirit is alive in Hall County!"
Annie Baxter, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Logistics, Energy, Agribusiness and Food Processing team, was the lead project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Georgia Department of Economic Development on the company’s initial location and its latest expansion.
“It is a source of local pride to see King’s Hawaiian in every major grocer and to know that’s a fantastic quality product that everyone loves and it’s baked in Hall County,” said chief executive officer of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Kit Dunlap. “This growth means job opportunities, and many Hall County businesses that support King's Hawaiian will grow with this expansion. Mahalo — thank you — King's Hawaiian!”
“It is not surprising that King’s Hawaiian would continue to expand its presence in Georgia,” said chief operating officer at Georgia Department of Economic Development Pat Wilson. “Existing companies thrive thanks to Georgia’s business-friendly atmosphere, outstanding workforce and superb logistics infrastructure.”
About King’s Hawaiian
Founded more than 60 years ago in Hilo, Hawaii, by Robert R. Taira, King’s Hawaiian is a family‐owned business that for three generations has been dedicated to making irresistible, original recipe Hawaiian foods made with Aloha Spirit. A priority for the company is sharing the Hawaiian Way—a uniquely Hawaiian approach to hospitality based on graciousness, generosity, and a commitment to making everyone feel a part of the King’s Hawaiian ohana—extended family. King’s Hawaiian makes the No. 1 branded dinner roll in the United States, and operates baking facilities in Torrance, Calif., and Oakwood. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.KingsHawaiian.com.