A food technology firm located in Raleigh is proposing to expand its operations into Nash County by building a new industrial facility there.
Mr. Michael Druga, President and CEO of SinnovaTek, announced that the company expects to open a new 62,500-square-foot facility within Middlesex Corporate Center this fall.
“It’s in a rural area, which was essential to us since it allowed us to get closer to the crops and the growers,” he explained. “However, it is still close enough to Raleigh for us to be able to draw from N.C. State. A large number of our employees are graduates of North Carolina State University.”
Microwave processing systems are built and sold by SinnovaTek, which exploits technology created by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. FirstWave, a subsidiary of the company, employs that technology to make products such as baby food, cold brew coffee, smoothies, and sauces. According to Druga, FirstWave will be the organization that will operate out of the Nash County facility.
SinnovaTek employs 30 employees at the moment, and the new Nash County location will allow the company to expand over the next several years. Druga stated that the plant’s goal is to hire 50 workers within the first two years of operation and 75 individuals within the first five years of operation. The company will continue to operate out of a smaller building on Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh for the foreseeable future.
It has the advantage of allowing the company to get a head start on the construction process because it does not have to wait for the entire construction process to be completed, according to Druga.
“What we appreciate about it is that it still has gravel floors, which means that we were able to go in and complete all of our subterranean plumbing and all of our floor drains before we poured the pad,” Druga explained. Ultimately, he stated, the corporation intends to invest a total of $12 million into the facility. The ability to “start from scratch” without having to “start completely from scratch” is what makes this possible.
SinnovaTek will receive a $400,000 grant from North Carolina’s Building Reuse program, as well as tax breaks from the county of Nash, according to Druga. “We’re quite excited about this,” Druga said.
Aspects of the construction supply chain that are causing problems throughout the sector are hurting SinnovaTek as well. Druga stated that the facility was originally scheduled to open in August, but that the opening date has now been moved back to October.
SinnovaTek, which was founded in 2015, has garnered the interest of investors since closing on a nearly $5 million investment round in the fall of last year. As previously reported by Triangle Business Journal, the company is also the newest tenant at the Middlesex Corporate Center in Nash County, which has space for a 1 million-square-foot industrial building, according to Andy Hagy, Nash County’s economic development director, who recently spoke with the publication.