A Canadian company is launching a food manufacturing operation on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the state announced Monday.
Protenergy Natural Foods Corp., based in the Toronto area, has leased a building in Dorchester County that had been used by food manufacturer FoodSwing and acquired that company's equipment earlier this month, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Development.
Protenergy, which is seeing more demand for its soups, broths, sauces and gravies, told the state that it expected to hire 100 people to work at the Cambridge site by 2016. The company will receive a $250,000 "conditional loan" from the state to purchase additional equipment, financing that will not have to be repaid if the hiring goal of 100 is met and the workers are retained at least through 2019.
The company also will receive a $25,000 property-tax break from Dorchester County and a $25,000 grant to pay for worker training, the state economic development agency said.
FoodSwing bought the building in 2008 after seafood company Icelandic shuttered production there. Jim Henry, director of the state economic development department's office of finance programs, said FoodSwing employed about 50 people in Cambridge before ceasing operations as part of the acquisition deal with Protenergy.
"It's always good being able to keep manufacturing operations here, particularly in jurisdictions like this, the rural jurisdictions," Henry said. "Manufacturing is particularly vital to them."
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