Ruiz Food Products, Inc., Dinuba, Calif., acquired a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Florence, S.C., that when completed in 2015, will manufacture a variety of products under its nationally distributed El Monterey and Tornados brands.

“Our expansion strategy included establishing a manufacturing facility on the East coast,” says Rachel Cullen, president and CEO. “Our products are in high demand with significant growth on the East coast, and for us at Ruiz Foods, it’s all about customer service.”

Located 110 miles southeast of Charlotte, N.C., the former Heinz frozen food processing facility was built in 2008.

“After conducting an initial search, we quickly narrowed our choice to this facility in Florence, S.C.,” adds Cullen. “My compliments to the state of South Carolina, the people of Florence County and the Florence County Economic Development Partnership—their enthusiasm, cooperation and flexibility made it possible to make our decision quickly.”

Once the facility is renovated and equipped, initial manufacturing operations will begin in 2015. Over the next several years, as the facility swings into full production, Ruiz Foods will employ over 500 team members, including plant management, building and manufacturing equipment maintenance, facilities management, cold storage, food preparation and assembly, quality assurance, mechanical and electrical maintenance and repair, stocking and inventory, shipping and receiving, accounting, clerical, administrative and janitorial.

Additionally, Ruiz Foods is currently expanding its corporate headquarters in Dinuba and its manufacturing facility in Denison, Texas.

“We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to become a member of the Florence community, and believe our tradition of commitment to our team members and the community will be a natural fit,” adds Kim Ruiz Beck, chairman and daughter of co-founder, Fred Ruiz. “Our corporate culture promotes an open door policy, regular communication meetings, on-site and off-site training, a birthday club, opportunities for internal advancement, competitive wages and benefits, community involvement—a family environment. Our core values include safety, integrity, respect, quality, innovation and teamwork.”