Biotech company to open facility in Leland


Biotech company CMS Food Solutions Inc. will open a manufacturing facility in Leland next year and the project is expected to create 52 jobs, the governor's office announced Thursday.

The company expects to invest $4.4 million in the plant.

CMS bought the 60,000-square-foot former Southport Boat Works building on Enterprise Drive in the Leland Industrial Park, said Jim Bradshaw, executive director of the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission.

The project will receive a $32,000 grant from the state's One North Carolina Fund.

Brunswick County will match the grant with $32,000 a year for three years, Bradshaw said. The money will come in the form of tax reimbursements only on improvements to the facility and for equipment, Bradshaw added. They will pay the tax that already is levied on the property.

"We've been working with them for five months and they looked in several states," he said.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs is estimated to be $43,115, plus benefits. The Brunswick County average annual wage is $32,500.

CMS is a private company that does research and development, marketing and manufacturing of biotechnologies.

The company's proprietary antimicrobial applications specifically target pathogens and spoilage bacteria to preserve harvested fruits and vegetables as well as other foods.

The manufacturing processes use natural ingredients and produce no waste.

CMS has a plant in Conroe, Texas, but its multi-year sales agreements in the food industry require the expansion.

"We had multiple considerations in looking for a new site, and Leland – from our standpoint – was a home run," CMS Chairman and co-founder Jim Burns said in a statement. "The work force here, location, research conducted in North Carolina's universities, and the emphasis on an eco-friendly manufacturing environment, all played a significant part in our decision."

CMS already is working with Brunswick Community College about training for employees, Bradshaw said.

Two other, small companies are locating in the Leland Industrial Park, he said.

Waste Unlimited, based in the Northeast, recycles computers and appliances and will employ 8 people, with an eye toward expansion, he said.

Another company, TRG Generators, is going into a 17,000-sqauare-foot building on Mercantile Drive. The New Jersey-based start-up will employ eight people and currently is located in the Brunswick Community College incubator building.