Ruiz Foods breaks ground in Florence

Source: NESA
Source: NESA

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Ruiz Foods is expected to make a $55 million impact on the Pee Dee area.

County leaders shared some of the incentives it took to get Ruiz Foods to Florence.

"The leg work started while we were taking to Heinz figuring out the end of the Heinz relationship," County Council Chairman James Schofield said.

Heinz was the company that used to operate out of the facility, which is now occupied by Ruiz Foods.

Heinz moved out after company executives decided to down size, but it was during those final ending negotiations that county leaders started working on reeling in Ruiz Foods.

"I remember Joe King looked at me and said I know a company that's going to be a good fit for this, and I'm going to give them a call," Schofield said.

Florence County's Economic Development Partnership's Executive Director Joe King, told about some of the incentives used to get Ruiz to sit up shop in Florence County.

"Reducing the assessment from 10.5 to 6 percent on manufacturing, and then we do what's called a jobs creations grant. Any employee they hire that is a legal resident of Florence County and stays in their payroll for five consecutive years, we give them an additional incentive," Joe King said.

"I've done some background checking on them and we could not have a finer company come to our area than Ruiz Foods," Senator Hugh Leatherman said.

In addition to today's job announcement, the company presented a $10,000 check to McLeod's Children's Hospital.

Rachel Cullen/ President CEO Ruiz Foods "They are very philanthropic, they are concerned about making sure people have a fabulous work environment," Rachel Cullen said.

Rachel Cullen is the President and CEO of Ruiz Foods.

Beginning Tuesday anyone interested in working in the company's soon to be complete frozen warehouse can contact Ruiz Foods at

Those jobs include line workers, plant managers and general labor positions.

On Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley helped break ground on the facility which is slated to be complete by early spring of this next year.

The location once up and running will be the company's first facility on the east coast, and will serve as the hub of East Coast operations.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.