RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Litehouse, Inc., a leader in refrigerated salad dressings, dips, cheese, freeze dried herbs, and other innovative consumer packaged goods, will invest $46 million to acquire and expand Sky Valley Foods and establish its first East Coast production facility in the City of Danville. The company will retain the Sky Valley Foods employees and create an additional 160 new jobs over the next five years. Virginia successfully competed with Utah and South Carolina for the project.
“Litehouse’s decision to take root in the City of Danville and establish its first East Coast production facility is another great example of how Southern Virginia’s industry-responsive training programs and highly skilled workforce create an ideal environment for manufacturers to thrive,” said Governor Northam. “This flourishing company sets the bar for corporate responsibility in its industry, and we look forward to many years of shared prosperity for Litehouse, its dedicated owners-employees, and the Commonwealth.”
Litehouse, Inc. is a leader in refrigerated salad dressings, dips, cheese, freeze dried herbs and other innovative and delicious products. Founded in Hope, Idaho by the Hawkins family in 1963, Litehouse is proud to be a 100 percent employee-owned company. Each of the employee-owners is committed to providing great-tasting, high-quality food made with real ingredients and crafted with care. The company has five other manufacturing facilities in the United States located in Michigan, Utah, and Idaho. Litehouse’s award-winning products are available in North America through general retail, e-commerce, foodservice, deli, club stores, and value-added goods such as meal and salad kits.
“Many companies select Virginia to establish East Coast operations, which is a strong testament to the Commonwealth’s unparalleled assets and business reputation,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are proud to welcome Litehouse to Virginia’s corporate roster, and thank the company for retaining valuable jobs and creating 160 new opportunities in the City of Danville.”
“We are excited and appreciative for the opportunity to operate a Litehouse manufacturing facility in Danville,” said Kelly Prior, President of Litehouse. “This facility will be key in continuing to provide the best-in-class customer service that Litehouse is known for to our customers on the East Coast. We look forward to being a strong partner and steward of the Danville community.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Danville to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant in the amount of $340,000 and a loan in the amount of $220,000, both from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, for the project. The company is eligible for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as Sales and Use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support Litehouse employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
“We’re so excited to welcome the national brand Litehouse to our community,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “Strategically, we have wanted to build a food processing base in Danville because of the unused capacity that Danville Utilities has in water and wastewater infrastructure. With Litehouse joining Nestle in Airside Industrial Park, we now have two leaders in the food industry.”
“This is great news for the City of Danville and our region,” said Tobacco Commission member Senator Bill Stanley. “In addition to bringing 160 new jobs, I am happy to hear that Litehouse intends to retain Sky Valley employees. I thank the Tobacco Commission for supporting this project and look forward to welcoming Litehouse to our community.”
“We are excited to have Litehouse locate in Danville,” said Tobacco Commission member Delegate Danny Marshall. “Originally established in Idaho and branching to Utah and Michigan, this will be the company’s first operation on the East Coast. Litehouse has a greater than 50-year reputation of producing excellent, award-winning products and is 100 percent employee-owned, fostering enthusiasm and commitment among its workers. Litehouse invests in its employees with good jobs, pay and benefits, and that culture is a great fit for Danville. We thank Litehouse for bringing an additional 160 jobs to our region.”