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France-Based Charles & Alice Establishes U.S. Production Center In Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania

Area Development Online News Desk (04/21/2014)
France-based Charles & Alice Group, a food processing company, has established its U.S. operations facility in East Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania, creating 50 full-time jobs.

Charles & Alice is one of the leading manufacturers of apple sauce in Europe. The company specializes in ready-to-eat, healthy food products such as squeezable applesauce pouches. The firm leased a 55,000-square-foot site in East Hempfield Township to serve as its first processing site in the United States. The company plans to invest more than $10.6 million in leasehold improvements, new machinery and equipment. Charles & Alice will work with Lancaster-based distributor, Hess Brother’s Fruit Company as their apple supplier for their products.

“We’re excited to announce that we will open our U.S. facility in September this year in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Governor and his team have been really helpful in identifying the best location for us,” said Thierry Goubault, CEO of the Charles & Alice Group. “We’ve been impressed by their energy and involvement in making this project happen. To produce the healthiest Fruit Pouches for kids, we need a talented workforce, high quality apples, a supportive community and a business-friendly state government, and we can find all of this here, in Pennsylvania.”

“Governor Corbett recognizes that Pennsylvania is competing at the global stage and is committed to attracting new job creating projects whether the opportunity is a neighboring state or in Western Europe,” said Lt. Governor Jim Cawley. “Charles & Alice welcomed Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania delegation two years ago in France and it is with great pleasure that I welcome Charles & Alice and 50 new jobs to Lancaster County.”

As an incentive, the company received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development including a $22,500 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used to train its new workforce. Additional funding includes a $150,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation and $150,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits.

The company has also been encouraged to apply for the funding offer as well as a low-interest loan including $1.25 million from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund. Charles & Alice has accepted the funding proposal, but must still apply for each loan and grant and agree to the terms prior to award receipt.

The project was coordinated by Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development in collaboration with the Governor’s Action Team, Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation.

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