The kitchen facility will produce ready-to-eat food products fordelivery to the company's 350 locations in Pennsylvania, WestVirginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. The newfacility is expected to create more than 450 new jobs over fiveyears.

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"This facility will change the way we do business," says Sheetzpresident and CEO, Stan Sheetz, in a company statement. "It willallow us to expand our offerings and give more choices to ourcustomers."

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Sheetz chairman Steve Sheetz, tells GlobeSt.com that "we've beentesting what customers want for some time. We found that, inaddition to our made-to-order food program, many of them wantedsomething on the go, so we're setting up this facility in responseto that."

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The facility, which broke ground a year ago, was built under thedirection of the Dennis Group, a Springfield, MA-based company thatspecializes in providing planning, architectural, processengineering and construction management services to the food andbeverage industries. According to Sheetz, the new building consistsof a bakery where the company's rolls and sweet goods will beproduced, a refrigerated storage area, office space, a test kitchenand a quality control kitchen as well as trailer docks for loadingand unloading.

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The state supported the project through an investment of nearly$8 million. The investment included a $500,000 opportunity grant, a$5 million machinery and equipment loan, $2 million ininfrastructure and facilities improvement program funds and$200,000 in job training assistance. Gov. Ed Rendell and secretaryof community and economic development Dennis Yablonsky were presentto cut the ribbon for the facility.

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