Food Warming Equipment Co., Inc , a worldwide supplier of mobile heated, refrigerated and transport foodservice units, portable bars and cooking ovens, has added an additional facility and finalized the purchase of the 161,000 sq. foot building located at 5599 Highway 31W in Sumner County, Portland, TN. The new facility, approximately 30 minutes north of Nashville, is projected to create over 100 new jobs for residents and transferees to the area.
FWE began the design and building process for offices and infrastructure, to the newly acquired building. This will add to their current manufacturing capabilities, located alongside their existing headquarters in Crystal Lake, IL. Curt Benson, VP of Sales and Marketing stated, “This expansion will help improve the quality and quantity of several Food Warming Equipment product lines, support our existing customer base, and promote aspirations for future growth.”
Deron Lichte, President and COO of FWE went on to say, "The assistance of several Nashville Area Chambers of Commerce economic development staff was valuable and delivered key components.” Jeff Hite, with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Jerome Terrell, Sr. Project Manager of TVA Economic Development were among those mentioned as key contacts, and provided valuable assistance in the decision to expand manufacturing to the facility in Portland, TN. Mr. Lichte went on to state, ‘…their recruiting efforts took, a holistic approach to our needs by researching: who we are, where we are, what it is that we do currently and what our future goals were that needed to be addressed. They went to great effort to accommodate and assist in locating a facility that would meet or surpass our needs.” Mr. Lichte also included the Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam and Mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean among those whom he personally met with during this process.
“FWE scouted many locations in several different states,” said Chris Huffman, VP of Operations. Mr. Huffman stated that they met with many people of prominence within the state and local government, as well as the greater Nashville area Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. All parties worked closely with FWE showcasing many of the advantages the state had to offer, providing a direction in the final selection of middle Tennessee. Deron Lichte also stated, “These types of meetings showed forward thinking, a strong commitment in key positions and illustrate support for U.S. manufacturing jobs, all key to the decision making process.”
FWE has been pleased with the overwhelming response and support of local residents and business community leaders, such as Denise Geminden, the Economic & Community Development Director with the City of Portland who stated, “Portland proudly welcomes FWE to our area. This company of 50 years has energy and environmental awareness and they will provide quality job opportunities for our citizens.” FWE looks forward to working with local area businesses and growing with the community at large. Margot Fosnes, President & Chief Economic Development Officer of the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce also lends a positive take stating, “We are pleased to welcome FWE to the Portland and Orlinda communities in Robertson County. Their capital investment and job creation will add another dimension to a diversified manufacturing base along the I-65 corridor.”