Governor Ralph Northam announced Litehouse, Inc., a leader in refrigerated salad dressings, dips, cheese, freeze dried herbs, and other innovative consumer packaged goods, will invest $46 million to acquire and expand Sky Valley Foods and establish its first East Coast production facility in the City of Danville.
The company will retain the Sky Valley Foods employees and create an additional 160 new jobs over the next five years. Virginia successfully competed with Utah and South Carolina for the project.
“Litehouse’s decision to take root in the City of Danville and establish its first East Coast production facility is another great example of how Southern Virginia’s industry-responsive training programs and highly skilled workforce create an ideal environment for manufacturers to thrive,” said Governor Northam. “This flourishing company sets the bar for corporate responsibility in its industry, and we look forward to many years of shared prosperity for Litehouse, its dedicated owners-employees, and the Commonwealth.”
Founded in Hope, Idaho by the Hawkins family in 1963, Litehouse is proud to be a 100 percent employee-owned company. Each of the employee-owners is committed to providing great-tasting, high-quality food made with real ingredients and crafted with care. The company has five other manufacturing facilities in the United States located in Michigan, Utah, and Idaho. Litehouse’s award-winning products are available in North America through general retail, e-commerce, foodservice, deli, club stores, and value-added goods such as meal and salad kits.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Danville to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Danville with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant in the amount of $340,000 and a loan in the amount of $220,000, both from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, for the project. The company is eligible for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as Sales and Use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support Litehouse employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
“We’re so excited to welcome the national brand Litehouse to our community,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “Strategically, we have wanted to build a food processing base in Danville because of the unused capacity that Danville Utilities has in water and wastewater infrastructure. With Litehouse joining Nestle in Airside Industrial Park, we now have two leaders in the food industry.”