Ruiz Foods adding 700 jobs at Florence Co. facility, investing $79 million to expand

Ruiz Foods adding 700 jobs at Florence Co. facility, investing $79 million to expand
Source: Drew Hansen
Source: Drew Hansen

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Ruiz Foods is expected to invest $79 million on an expansion to their current facility in Florence County, bringing an additional 700 jobs to the area.

Kent Caudle, the chairman of the Florence County Council, confirmed the company is expanding.

A Ruiz Foods representative said additional details about the expansion would be released at an announcement on July 11.

Two items on Thursday's county council agenda pertain to Ruiz Foods. An ordinance up for its third reading would authorize a Fee-In-Lieu of Tax Agreement between the company and the county, providing payment by the company of certain fees-in-lieu of taxes, providing for a special source revenue credits, and providing allocations of fees-in-lieu of taxes payable under the agreement for the establishment of a multi-county industrial and business park. This agreement was previously kept under wraps as "Project Horseshoe."

A resolution up for discussion during Thursday's council meeting would ratify the provision of county grants to Ruiz Food Products, in connection with an economic development project in Florence County.

Mike Miller, president of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, said an expansion that brings 700 new jobs is "a significant employer in the region."

According to Miller, people are not only choosing to relocate and stay in Florence, but they are choosing to expand after they arrive.

"That's the positive energy we get and to see Ruiz Foods, a great organization, have the expansion they are talking about is a wonderful thing for everybody in the county, city and the region actually," Miller said.

This news comes after a number of other expansions in Florence County have been announced, including ones for GE Healthcare, McCall Farms and Honda.

"It's more employees, better tax base, more suppliers, more jobs," Miller said. "It has a domino effect in the community like this and it's great to see this expansion on top of the other expansions."

Ruiz Foods first came to Florence County in 2014, when they set up shop in a facility previously occupied by Heinz. The company made a $55 million investment and expanded the 215,000-square-foot facility by an extra 30,000 square feet.

"We knew we were getting a good organization, a good company and to hear they are expanding just makes things even better," Miller said.

Ruiz Foods manufactures and distributes frozen Mexican cuisines from the Florence County facility, which serves as the company's East Coast hub.

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