Eastern North Carolina is the state's leading area for agriculture, thus an excellent location to obtain raw materials for food processing plants. Our workforce area is situated on the central East Coast of NC and is within a day's drive of over half of the national consumer and individual markets. Our workforce area is home to 48 food manufacturers including:
Ann's House of Nuts is North America's largest producer of trail mixes and is a leading provider of snack nuts, dried fruits and other high growth, healthy snack products. Ann's is the largest provider of private label (store brand) trail mixes globally. Production facilities in our Martin County workforce area house the world's largest oil nut roaster.
Perdue, Inc. is a poultry processing and rendering plant.
Sara Lee bakery manufactures and markets branded packaged baked goods in the United States, Europe and Australia.
The Cheesecake Factory is a bakery manufacturing cheesecake products.
NC General information
- Over 680 companies across NC involved in food manufacturing employing 51,000+ employees
- NC's largest private employers -- Smithfield Foods, Tyson Farms, Perdue Products, Butterball, House of Raeford, Mountaire Farms, Pilgrims Pride all in top 25
- NC's NE and Eastern Regions have over 140 companies employing 15,000+ with an annual payroll of approximately $121,000,000 annually
Why Locate in Martin County
- Centrally located along the Eastern Seaboard
- Excellent transportation system to support distribution
- US Highway 64 to I-95 for north/south delivery and US Highway 17 to the Norfolk ports
- Quality workforce with long tradition in food processing and other manufacturing sectors where Honey Roasted Nuts were born
- Access to raw products grown locally
North Carolina Department of Agriculture
- Goodness Grows program
Branding program for NC products that has been extremely successful in helping manufacturers and processors establish national markets
- Northeast Marketing Center
Marketing specialists here provide assistance in locating buyers and suppliers, developing new markets, designing marketing strategies, and conducting marketing promotions to increase demands for regional commodities that include fruits, vegetables, seafood and other products. These efforts enhance the "Goodness Grows in North Carolina" campaign.
- Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Food Science Extension provides support to industries in the beverage, dairy, meat, produce and seafood processing arenas. Services include assistance with food processing, food safety & quality, regulatory compliance issues, environmental issues and help for startup, small business companies and entrepreneurs. Also has seven pilot plants that support teaching and R&D activities for the Food Industry.
East Carolina University
- Food and Beverage Concentration in Hospitality Management, College of Human Ecology
Over 450 students are enrolled in the Department of Hospitality Management, with many involved in the Food and Beverage Concentration. Each student is required to complete an internship within their degree path.
- ECU Engineering programs
ECU Engineering programs in Technology Systems (concentrations in Design, Industrial Distribution & Logistics, Industrial Engineering Technology, and Information & Computer Technology), Engineering (concentrations in Biomedical Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science) and Construction Management
- Major employers within the region include Ann's House of Nuts, Perdue, Sara Lee Bakeries, Perdue Farms, Reser's Fine Foods
- Culinary Arts curriculum available at certain community colleges throughout eastern NC.
- Food science classes in local high schools
- East Carolina Food Ventures Incubator Kitchen
Eastern Carolina Food Ventures Incubator Kitchen is a regional, shared-use commercial incubator kitchen designed to help develop food entrepreneurs, create new food businesses, grow existing food businesses, and provide workforce development resulting in new jobs and new economic development in eastern North Carolina.