Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Business

Fresco Foods could bring 50 jobs to east Hillsborough

A company that makes a line of fresh-prepared meals, packaged for sale within stores, is building a new commercial kitchen and food service production facility in eastern Hillsborough County that is expected to create up to 50 jobs.

Fresco Foods, Inc., operator of Eat Fresco, said a new 12,000 square foot facility, located at 9410 E Broadway Avenue will be completed in January 2017.

The expansion, that will cost approximately $1.5 million, will allow Fresco Foods to scale its business throughout the state in 2017 and develop partnerships with large retailers.

"Since our launch in February 2015, Eat Fresco has experienced tremendous demand in Florida," said Fresco Foods president Robert Povolny. "Working with (CB Richard Ellis) and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, we found an ideal location for a large-scale production kitchen with access to the major interstates."

Povolny said he developed Eat Fresco to meet the demands of time-starved consumers seeking convenient meals that they can feel good about eating. Eat Fresco also serves the needs of retailers — already facing stiff competition from restaurants and meal kit delivery services — to offer their customers portable and ready to eat meal options.

Stacy White, chairman of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners is excited about the job growth in roles ranging from sales and marketing, quality assurance, operations, customer service and food production.

"We will do whatever we can to support their growth and thank them for creating more jobs for families in our community," he said.

The Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors that helps attract, retain and expand jobs, also took steps to help Fresco staff up quickly. It introduced the company to CareerSource Tampa Bay, which offers resources for screening and hiring new employees.

The corporation also connected Fresco Foods to resources at Hillsborough County for expedited permitting and sales tax exemptions, saving the business time and money. Visit eatfrescofoods.com.

Brandon Cheddar's closes after suit

BRANDON — The Cheddar's restaurant at 11135 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon has closed on the heels of multiple state inspection violations and a newly-filed lawsuit. The eatery, which state inspectors temporarily shut down in April after finding 22 violations including small flying insects in the kitchen and rodent activity, now faces a lawsuit from its landlord.

ARC CafeUSA001 LLC, a Delaware-based company that has owned and operated multiple properties and fast-food restaurants across the nation since 2013 is suing Tennessee-based Q's Restaurant Group LLC, which owns the Brandon Cheddar's, for more than $1 million in rent and back taxes.

The Brandon location has been removed from the restaurant's website. Cheddar's other five Tampa Bay area locations remain open, including Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel or Lakeland.

Cheddar's locations in Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio also recently closed abruptly.

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