A major player in the edible tree nut industry is entering the peanut business and has chosen Brownfield as its base of operations. Ready Roast Nut Company with major plants in Madera, California and Hughson, California, has completed lease agreements for local property and begun hiring management of its new Brownfield facility. The company has contracted for the former cotton gin owned by Monty Henson and Tommy Mason a mile west of Brownfield on the Plains Hwy. Ready Roast will renovate the property and has plans to make additional land purchases for future expansion, according to Brownfield Industrial Development Corp. executive director David Partlow. “This is a great company that is well known in the food industry across the country,” he said. “Landing them in Brownfield is a big deal and it’s going to be great for our community and for our farmers who will now have another buyer for the product they work so hard to produce.” Local resident Chris Elkins has been hired by the company to begin the process of establishing the new plant.
Ready Roast will start off with 15-20 employees and could expand to as many as 100 within two years, Partlow said. “They have four plants in California and employ more than 500 people. Ready Roast Nut Company is an industrial supplier and custom processor of roasted and manufactured tree nuts. They offer a broad range of premium quality products to manufacturing companies in the dairy, snack food, bakery, confectionery, and other food industries, including almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazel-nuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. “They do all of those things, but they had customers asking for several years to provide them with peanuts,” Partlow said. “So they did their research and they are coming to Brownfield to enter that market.” Ready Roast Nut Company was established in 2006 by a trio of professionals from the food processing industry who saw an opportunity to address the growing demand for value-added tree nuts.
The company started with a processing facility in Hughson, where they produce large volumes of oil and dry roasted nuts for the dairy and other food processing industries. In 2007 Ready Roast acquired Madera Quality Nut (MQN) facilities. MQN was a well established nut processor who had been serving ingredient buyers world-wide since 1996 and continues to be a strong and trusted brand for natural, roasted and manufactured almonds and tree nuts. Their most recent facility was completed in 2012. Also located in Madera, it allows the company to offer even more to customers; incorporating the latest technologies for quality, sustainability, stringent controls for food safety and added space for increased processing and storage capacity.
Their mission, according to the company’s website, is to be the industry’s leading value-added nut processing company. Former BIDCorp chairman Alan Bayer, who visited the company’s California offices on a recruiting trip last month, told the Brownfield News that he was impressed with what he saw. “I’m glad they are coming to Brownfield,” he said. “We need more job opportunities and this is an established, successful company that saw what we have to offer.” Bayer said Terry County has been a leader in the peanut industry for growing the raw product for many years, but this new business will afford the opportunity to enter the processing side of the business, which is where more value is added.
“They had very clean facilities and everyone was kind and professional,” he said. “The owners were former employees of Planter Peanuts, so they know the business and the contacts and how to operate well. I think everyone here will be impressed with the level of excellence in their manufacturing process.”
Bayer also said he thinks the company will find Texas a more business-friendly environment that California. “We probably don’t have a third of the restrictive environ-mental standards they have to deal with out there,” he said. “They are excited to come here and they see Brownfield and Terry County as an opportunity. They are everyday people just like us, trying to make a living.” The company’s existing facilities incorporate state-of-the-art processing abilities, including laser sorting, dry roasting, oil roasting, seasoning, manufacturing and organic certifications. Partlow told the News that this company won’t be com-petition for the existing peanut buyers in Brownfield, such as Birdsong, Golden and Tejas. “What Ready Roast does is take the peanut and work it into a finished product with seasoning and packaging and everything,” he said. “We think they will work alongside our existing peanut companies and make good partners of all of them.”
Article Courtesy of the Brownfield News