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McKee Foods Corporation Expands Production in Collegedale, Tennessee

03/12/2020
McKee Foods Corporation, the maker of Little Debbie Snacks, Drake’s Cakes and other snack foods, will undergo a major expansion in Collegedale, Tennessee.

Over a 15-year period, McKee Foods plans to invest more than $500 million in its Hamilton County production operations and create approximately 480 jobs. The expansion will accommodate new production lines.

According to the state Department of Economic and Community Development, as part of the first phase of the expansion, McKee Foods will invest $225 million over the next seven years and initially create 125 jobs. Following this first phase, McKee Foods anticipates further hiring and investment to meet its 15-year targets.

“McKee Foods is very pleased that we are able to bring more jobs and more bakery capacity to our Hamilton County operations. 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,” Mike McKee, McKee Foods Corporation President & CEO said.

Headquartered in Collegedale for more than 70 years, McKee Foods employs more than 3,000 people at its Tennessee production facilities and corporate offices. The privately-held, family-owned company is the maker of Little Debbie Snacks, Sunbelt Bakery granola and cereal, Heartland Brands and Drake’s Cakes.

“I’m grateful for McKee Foods’ ongoing commitment to Tennessee as it continues to create high-quality jobs and drive economic activity. Thousands of Tennesseans have contributed to the success of McKee Foods and its world-renowned products. I’m pleased to see such a storied Tennessee brand move forward with this considerable expansion in Collegedale,” said Governor Bill Lee.

“Tennessee is home to some of the world’s most respected food brands, none greater than Little Debbie Snacks and McKee Foods.

We’ve sought to create a business-friendly environment that ensures our existing Tennessee companies can prosper and thrive. McKee Foods has called Collegedale and Hamilton County home for generations, and this considerable investment promises to ensure its prominent role in Southeast Tennessee continues for generations to come,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe noted.

“McKee Foods is an important part of Collegedale. We are grateful that the company has chosen to continue its investment in our city with a significant expansion of its operations. We are excited for the new opportunities and the jobs that this growth will create,” said Collegedale Mayor Katie Lamb.

“TVA and EPB congratulate McKee Foods on its decision to expand operations in Collegedale and create hundreds of new job opportunities. It’s always an exciting day when an existing company is committed to continuing growth in the Valley and we are pleased to partner with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to celebrate this announcement,” John Bradley, TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development said.

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