Tifton Gazette

Local News

November 7, 2012

350 new jobs coming to Tifton

TIFTON — As major national store brands launch sales of Tifton-developed powdered peanut butter, agricultural products innovator Bell Plantation has announced consolidation of production, packaging and distribution operations in Tifton.

Kroger has signed on to sell the new product in retail grocery stores and outdoor gear innovator REI has begun selling individual packets in stores in 30 states. They join SuperValu and Whole Foods in the sale of Bell Plantation food products.

“Job creation and industrial growth during a recession appear to be the hallmark of Bell Research Companies” Executive Vice President Jill St. John said.

“100,000 Internet customers already confirm the viability and popularity of our product, propelling the immediate need for expansion.”

Bell Plantation’s 109,000 square-foot facility in the Magnolia Industrial Park will expand operations currently located in five cities in three states: Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.

At the ribbon cutting Wednesday, a group of Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce members, Bell Plantation employees and a few local leaders had the opportunity to tour the facility and enjoy some delicious samples of peanut butter crackers.

J.C. Bell of Tifton is founder and chief executive officer. He is a long-time visionary and inventor from an early age. He told The Gazette at the ribbon cutting that he and his wife, Jo, own the vast majority of the business along with 84 stockholders. Also, he noted that they are looking to open a furniture company in the same area as the Bell Plantation facility.

Bell said he’s happy to have the facility in Tifton and is looking forward to being fully operational by the end of this year.

Bell Plantation is making a significant investment into the abatement, repair and renovation of the facility along with an estimated $15 million in production and processing equipment.

The anticipated 350 jobs in the industrial facility will be augmented with additional expansion into downtown Tifton office facilities.

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