Last updated: July 26. 2014 4:16PM - 2997 Views
By - mswearengin@civitasmedia.com

Shown is the sign at the office of JCP Specialty Foods/Potter's Sausage on East Highway 70 in Durant
Shown is the sign at the office of JCP Specialty Foods/Potter's Sausage on East Highway 70 in Durant
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JCP Specialty Foods in Durant is expected to close this week and cost about 80 people their jobs.

A person at the local office would not confirm or deny the closure, however The Democrat has learned that operations are expected to cease Thursday. The 134,764-square-foot plant is located on East Highway 70 in Durant.

Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer said the DIA had previously been asked to help in the marketing efforts to sell the plant. It was discussed at a DIA meeting earlier this month and Kramer said an interested company has visited the plant. According to Kramer, DIA is highly engaged in trying to make a successful transition for the plant.

“We’re waiting for the company that was visiting and looking,” Kramer said. “I can tell you they are highly interested. The ball is in their court because they are looking at other food-processing plants.

“The Durant Industrial Authority is highly engaged in helping in the search for a food company to move into that facility and create jobs.”

Kramer said his heart is with the approximately 80 people who will lose their jobs.

“I’ve been concerned about those workers not having a job when they close the facility,” Kramer said. “It just breaks my heart to think about them not having a job at the end of next week. It’s been my prayer to get a transition made. We’ve been working on it for weeks but haven’t got there.”

The Durant plant was formerly known as J.C. Potter Sausage, and the company’s Website states, “JCP Specialty Foods has been providing high-quality products for over 50 years. JCP Specialty Foods takes pride in the quality of the ingredients used to produce its fine sausages, sausage patties, individually packaged breakfast sandwiches, and high-quality J.C. Potter Brand bacon.”

J.C. Potter Sausage Co. was founded in 1949 by J.C. Potter. In 1998, Atlantic Premium Brands, the company that owns JCP Special Foods, bought the company.

In 2011, Potter’s teamed up with the Williams Sausage Co. of Union City, Tenn., in what company officials described as a joint venture to accelerate the growth of both companies. J.C. Potter Sausage is still made at the Tennessee plant.

Reach Matt Swearengin at 634-2160 or DDDEditor@Twitter.com.

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