Flowers to open Knoxville baking plant
by Eric Schroeder
NASHVILLE, TENN. — Flowers Foods, Inc. will open a bakery in Knoxville, Tenn., in late May. The plant, which was acquired last summer as part of the acquisition of the Hostess bread assets, will operate with one bread line and will be renamed Flowers Baking Co. of Knoxville.
The bakery initially will employ about 60, but the number is expected to increase to more than 100 as more production shifts are added, Flowers said.
“We’re excited to be opening Flowers Baking Co. of Knoxville,” said Gene D. Lord, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Flowers Foods. “This bakery will be producing Nature’s Own, Merita and Wonder breads and will help us meet the increasing demand for these breads in a region that encompasses parts of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
“As we have said since acquiring the Hostess bread assets last summer, our plan is to open bakeries as we need additional production capacity to meet market demand. The Knoxville bakery is strategically located to help us serve the market in this region with great-tasting, high-quality breads.”
The Knoxville bakery was one of several that were upgraded by the former Hostess Brands, Inc. in the early 2000s. It is the second of 20 plants acquired last year by Flowers from Hostess slated to open. Last winter, Flowers Baking Co. of Henderson, L.L.C. restarted production.