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ICEE logo / Photo from icee.com

An earlier version incorrectly referred to the date that Nissan relocated its North American headquarters to Franklin, Tennesee, which was in 2006.

Tennessee economic recruiters are continuing to reverse the mantra of heading west for success by luring another California-based corporate headquarters to the Volunteer State.

One of the nation's biggest frozen beverage companies announced Wednesday it is moving its headquarters from southern California to Middle Tennessee by the end of the year. ICEE, the national frozen beverage company started in 1967, will move its corporate offices from Ontario, California just west of Los Angeles to La Vergne, Tennessee, just south of Nashville by December.

The company will create more than 200 jobs in Rutherford County over the next five years as part of its $10.3 million investment in La Vergne.

"Every kid and every parent in America has craved an ICEE at one point or another, and now we're so excited that this iconic company has chosen to call Tennessee home," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in announcing the deal with ICEE, a subsidiary of J&J Snack Foods Corp. "Tennessee is home to many major internationally recognized brand names, and we're so proud to add ICEE to our list."

ICEE, which is known for selling frozen drinks with spoon straws and dome lids, is the third major company to relocate its home offices from California to Tennessee. In 2006, Nissan North America moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Franklin, Tennessee, and in 2017 CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., moved from Carpinteria, California to Nashville.

"There's no hiring freeze in Tennessee — ICEE just announced it will be relocating its headquarters to La Vergne," U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennesee, tweeted Wednesday.

ICEE reached an agreement last fall with the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board for a 7-year tax abatement valued at $690,275 for a new building and $223,800 for an existing building.

Tennessee also offers both standard and super job tax credits valued at up to $6,000 per worker for headquarters facilities that pay significantly more than the average pay in Tennessee. The headquarters incentives stemmed, in part, from Nashville's successful recruitment of Hospital Corp. of America (HCA) from its former headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1990s.

Dan Fachner, president and CEO of ICEE, said the move to La Vergne should be complete by December and the jobs being added in Rutherford County are expected to pay an average of $60,152 a year.

"The ICEE Company is absolutely thrilled to be moving to Tennessee," Fachner said in an announcement of the relocation. "During our 50-plus years, we have grown an incredible family of hard-working people that love this company and our brands, and we are looking forward to continuing that heritage and culture in our new home.

La Vergne was one of more than a half dozen communities competing for the headquarters facility.

"The ICEE Company's decision to bring its corporate headquarters to La Vergne highlights how Tennessee's low taxes, skilled workforce and quality of life continue to attract world-class businesses, " said Bill Rolfe, commissioner for Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development."

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

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