COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. — March 10, 2020 — McKee Foods officials announced today that the company is planning a major investment in its Collegedale operations, including a large expansion to its Apison Plant, located in the 10800 block of Apison Pike.
Over a 15-year period, McKee Foods has agreed to invest more than $500 million in capital projects, including expansion of the Apison Plant to include new production lines, and additional investment in its other Collegedale facilities. The company has also committed to 125 new jobs created in the first seven years of the project. Over the course of the entire project, the company expects to create 480 new jobs. McKee Foods employs about 3,000 people in its Tennessee operations today.
The initial 5-year outlay is approximately $225 million. Of this amount, $110 million is set to more than double the current size of the Apison Plant and add the first new production line. This will be the fourth major expansion of this facility. Work will be completed in phases with the first phase commencing in the summer of 2020.
“McKee Foods is very pleased that we are able to bring more jobs and more bakery capacity to our Hamilton County operations,” said Mike McKee, McKee Foods Corporation President & CEO. “Our family business is blessed to have such deep roots in Southeast Tennessee — a region where thoughtful infrastructure investment is being made while maintaining a keen eye on livability and workability for our employees and surrounding communities. As always, we appreciate partnering with the City of Collegedale, Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority and EPB as we expand our Collegedale Operations.”
McKee Foods broke ground on the Apison Plant in April 1996, and production began in May 1997. The plant nearly tripled in size with an expansion completed in Dec. 2006. A third expansion finished in Nov. 2012 and included new offices and a new break room area.
About McKee Foods
McKee Foods, a family bakery with annual sales of about $1.4 billion, is a privately-held company based in Collegedale, Tenn. The McKee Foods story began during the height of the Great Depression when founder O.D. McKee began selling 5-cent snack cakes from the back of his car. Soon after, he and his wife, Ruth, bought a small bakery on Main Street in Chattanooga, Tenn., using the family car as collateral. Today, the company employs more than 6,000 people in Collegedale, Tenn.; Gentry, Ark.; Stuarts Draft, Va.; and Kingman, Ariz. It creates and produces Little Debbie® baked goods, Drake’s® cakes, Sunbelt Bakery® snacks and cereals and Fieldstone® Bakery food products. Visit mckeefoods.com for more information.