Anchor Packaging is expanding its Paragould manufacturing plant with a $21.5 million investment that will create up to 45 new jobs over the next 30 months, officials announced Tuesday.
The company operates six facilities in northeast Arkansas that manufacture and distribute food-packing products made from recycled materials.
Anchor's Paragould plant, built in 1990 and expanded in 2008, will add 90,000 square feet of production space and is ready to hire employees.
"Re-investing in the region comes naturally as we have outstanding employees, many second and third generation, coupled with an ever-growing business focused on sustainable food-packaging solutions," said Jeff Wolff, Anchor president and chief executive officer.
Since opening its first Arkansas production plant in 1985 in Marmaduke, Anchor has continued to grow into multiple locations with several product-line expansions.
The company employs more than 1,000 Arkansans and operates 2 million square feet of production and distribution space in Paragould, Marmaduke and Jonesboro.
"Anchor's packaging is just one more way Arkansas touches lives all over the United States," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday in a news release announcing the expansion. "Most Americans probably don't know they take their take-out restaurant food home in a container made in the Natural State."
Anchor officials were joined in the announcement Tuesday afternoon by Commerce Secretary Mike Preston, Paragould Mayor Josh Agee and other local community and business leaders.
In July 2019, Anchor, which is based in St. Louis, was purchased by The Jordan Co., a private equity firm. The New York firm invests in middle-market companies in a range of industries.
After the start in Marmaduke and Paragould, Anchor purchased a manufacturing operation in Jonesboro in 2013 and also operates a distribution center in the city.
Preston praised the company for its efforts in Arkansas. "They have risen to the top of their industry through innovation and quality while creating a positive environment that continues to draw a dedicated workforce," he said.
Restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores use Anchor Packaging's products to serve the growing consumer demand for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery of prepared meals.
The company follows sustainability operating principles and 100% of its rigid packages are made with recycled or recyclable materials.