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EUSTIS, FL-U.S. Nutraceuticals, a Leesburg, FL herb extractor and processor, plans to break ground early next year on a $7 million, 24,000-sf plant on Country Road 452 across from Marsh Park here. Eustis is 32 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

The company hopes to cash in on the current sales engine of herb and dietary supplement products by selling the extracted herbs to global retailers and distributors. The firm anticipates finding the bulk of its raw materials in Florida and Georgia.

U.S. Nutraceuticals has been operating a small pilot plant since last summer in Eustis where it is perfecting the extraction process. The company is headed by Fred Gregg Jr., son of F. Browne Gregg who founded Florida Crushed Stone 50 years ago in Leesburg, FL.

CSR America acquired Florida Crushed Stone last summer. Nutraceuticals is a spinoff of Florida Crushed Stone but is not part of the acquisition package. The Eustis plant will have a staff of 20 when it opens at year end 2001.

The company has applied for a $664,900 federal Community Development Block Grant to help pay for required infrastructure improvements at the plant site.

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