Company's $30 Million Expansion To Create Jobs - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Company's $30 Million Expansion To Create Jobs

From the outside, it's hard to tell one certain local company is such an economic powerhouse. But it's one of the top two firms in Tyler that the Economic Development Council is keeping its eye on.

John Soules Foods is in the middle of a $30-million expansion from its already large operation. That means 100 new jobs as soon as this fall.

"From forklift drivers to middle management to hourly employees," John Soules, Jr., vice president of operations, said.

The largest fajita processing plant in the nation, John Soules supplies beef, chicken, and pork to major restaurant chains like Chili's and Subway, and to stores like Wal-mart and Sam's Club, across North America and even to military bases in Saudi Arabia.

"If you're having a meal anywhere at a chain restaurant, there's a very good chance you're eating something made by John Soules foods, which I think is kind of neat for the Tyler area. A lot of people just don't realize."

Part of the expansion is a new building expected to be completed next January that will double the size of the existing plant. Three new cook lines will crank out 10,000 more pounds of cooked meat every hour.

To give you an idea of how that translates into dollars, John Soules Foods made nearly $120 million in sales last year. Three years from now, in 2008, the firm is expecting to more than triple its sales to $380 million.

Much of that goes right back into the Tyler economy, attracting new businesses, and as a result, even more jobs.

John Soules Foods started up 32 years ago, making $2 million to $3 million in sales each year. Since then, those sales have gone up 50 times that amount.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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