FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the biggest food distributor and processing facilities in California is expanding right here in Fresno.
Monday morning's ground breaking ceremony for JD Food in southeast Fresno builds a pathway for a major expansion project for the family-owned company.
In addition of distributing food products to local restaurants and businesses, JD Food also operates certified meat products. Company president Mark Ford said expanding here in the Central Valley was a priority. "We call this home and the city of Fresno has been our home for over 40 years for our families that make up JD Food," Ford said. "We are involved in a lot of organizations, a lot of non-profit organizations, a lot of different churches, and a lot of different things going on."
The company currently operates from a 52,000 square-foot facility on Commerce Avenue near Maple.
The new $10,500,000 building just down the street will create more than 140 new full-time jobs over the next 10 years. "We've been out of room for a lot of years and the existing facility will primarily be our USDA meat processing company," Ford said. "Which is exciting because it gives us the opportunity to expand that company too."
Fresno city leaders approved the expansion plan earlier this year. Mayor Ashley Swearengin said JD Food plays a key role in local food expos and saw a new business opportunity.
"We have seen them at the table helping to draw attention to the incredible food products that are grown here, that are processed here and that are shipped all over the world," Swearengin said. "They've been a great spokesperson for the food industry."
JD Food quickly teamed up with the mayor and the city of Fresno's director of economic development, Larry Westerlund, to lay out a blue print that will benefit everyone.
"Our working is just beginning now," Westerlund said. "It is getting built over the next several months. So it is the whole, whole gamut."
Construction on the new distribution and processing facility will be complete by the middle of 2016.
Major food company expands in Fresno