published Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

McKee Foods shutting plant on Amnicola


McKee Foods Corp. employs about 3,050 people in Hamilton County and 6,000 companywide.

McKee Foods Corp. is closing its Custom Baking plant on Amnicola Highway and shifting production to facilities in Collegedale and Arkansas as the company tries to manage costs.

McKee has put the facility up for sale, and a deal with a potential buyer is pending.

McKee spokesman Mike Gloekler said that like other companies, the snack cake maker has been trying to reallocate resources.

All workers in the plant, which had been down to one line and one shift, were offered positions in Collegedale, he said. Mr. Gloekler said the facility employed about 30 people. Little Debbie doughnuts were made at the site, he said.

Today, McKee plans to seek an agreement from the city Industrial Development Board to enable it to receive the final year of a previous tax abatement from Hamilton County related to equipment at the site.

Kurt Faires, representing McKee Foods, said in a letter to the city attorney that such consent won't grant the company any added abatement beyond what already was provided to Custom Baking, its wholly owned subsidiary.

He said McKee's chief executive, Mike McKee, recently discussed with city Mayor Ron Littlefield and county Mayor Claude Ramsey McKee's plan to consolidate its Custom Baking equipment into McKee's Collegedale facilities.

Mr. Faires said the jobs associated with the Custom equipment will remain the same after the move. The equipment is being relocated within Hamilton County, he said.

McKee bought the factory from Turnbull Bakery in 2004 for $7.5 million.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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EPD1979 said...

No more little Debby's? :o(

August 18, 2009 at 8:30 a.m.
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