John Soules construction pushed to late summer

Published 7:11 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

VALLEY — Construction for the anticipated John Soules Foods plant could be pushed back a few months due to the ongoing construction at the processing plant’s headquarters in Tyler, Texas.

Kimberly Carter of the Chambers County Development Authority told the Valley Times-News Monday that she recently spoke with the project manager for the Valley project. She said the manager said John Soules Foods was still several months away from being complete with an expansion in Tyler, Texas.

Carter said while the expansion project wasn’t news to the authority, it does mean the construction in Valley has been delayed until late summer.

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“We had originally anticipated a Q1 (Quarter 1) 2019 construction start,” Carter said in an email. “The timeline and target date of fourth quarter 2020 for operations are all still the same though.”

She said the project manager asked the development authority to continue taking resumes of all interested employees and contracts at its office.

Timothy Cairns, senior director of marketing at John Soules Foods, couldn’t provide an update on the current Valley project.

“Right now, we don’t have anything new to report at this time,” he said in an email.

In December 2017, John Soules Food announced it had purchased the former WestPoint Home distribution center off Towel Avenue and would be converting it into a chicken and beef products processing plant.

The Texas-based company produces ready-to-cook and fully cooked beef and chicken products and has production facilities in Tyler,Texas and Gainesville, Georgia.

The processing plant announced it would be in operation by the end of 2020 with about 200 new jobs and then three more waves of employment with about 500 total employees. John Soules Foods will be investing an estimated $110 million in the former distribution center.