La Regina Atlantica, a U.S. subsidiary of Italian producer of homemade pasta sauces La Regina di San Marzano, will invest $20M in a new food processing plant in Alma, Georgia.
The company is purchasing an existing 226,000-square-foot building, located at 135 Industrial Drive. This Bacon County facility will become its first U.S. processing location and bring more than 250 jobs to southeast Georgia.
According to Governor Brian P Kemp’s Office, La Regina Atlantica will source carrots, peppers, basil, onions, and meats from farmers locally. The company’s freshly grown tomatoes will be imported from Italy through the Port of Savannah, where they will then be transported to Alma to be processed into the brand’s world-famous sauces.
“Georgia feels like the perfect place,” said Felice Romano, president of La Regina. “The large agricultural environment in Bacon County is so similar to what we have here in San Marzano (Italy). It ensures we have access to vast supplies of all the raw materials we need to pack the sauce, and we believe our business will do wonderfully there. Then, there’s so much room for expansion, literally and figuratively, in Alma, not to mention the close proximity to the third-largest port in the U.S., the Port of Savannah. It gives us both full access to the East Coast and the possibility to get the incoming shipments of our canned tomatoes from Italy. Last, but not least, the wide offer of dedicated workforce and all the consistent and excellent support the State of Georgia has provided us with has been of vital importance to us.”
Fully dedicated to North America, where its consumer recognizes and appreciates a traditional Italian product tailored and adjusted to their taste, the company opened their Manhattan-based subsidiary La Regina di San Marzano USA in 2013.
“I’m confident that La Regina Atlantica will find success in Georgia, and it’s a pleasure to welcome them to our state,” said Governor Kemp. “Their decision to bring their operations to the Peach State is a testament to the fastest-growing port in the U.S., the Port of Savannah, our outstanding workforce training programs provided by Georgia Quick Start, and our pro-business environment. We're grateful for their investment in our state, and look forward to seeing the opportunities this creates for the hardworking Georgians in Bacon County and the surrounding region.”
“It is a pleasure to personally meet with Felice Romano, his sons, and the leadership team of La Regina di San Marzano and celebrate this great announcement of jobs for rural Georgia and opportunities for Georgia farmers across the state,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This family business has turned into a global success story, and I am very grateful to them for starting La Regina Atlantica and becoming part of our food development and processing family. When I toured their facility in Italy, I had the honor of trying their tomato basil sauce directly off the line, and the locally grown and sourced ingredients taste like home. I can’t wait to see La Regina become part of the Georgia family with their facility in Alma, Bacon County.”
“At the Georgia Ports Authority, we are proud to be part of the state and local economic development team in support of La Regina Atlantica’s expansion into Bacon County,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Their announcement is one more example of how Georgia’s deep-water ports support jobs and economic opportunity across every region of the state.”
The Georgia Department of Economic Development was represented in this competitive project by Project Manager Elizabeth McLean in partnership with the Bacon County Development Authority and Georgia Quick Start.
“We are excited to welcome La Regina into our community,” said Kevin Ellis, executive director of the Bacon County Development Authority. “Food production is at the heart of our local economy. From small businesses creating value-added products to large industries shipping fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and meats by the truckload, a large percentage of our workforce has been introduced to the culture of food safety. La Regina’s core values of passion, tradition, and family will resonate with the people of Bacon County. Being a small, Southern Georgia community, our hardworking men and women will embrace the La Regina family. We can’t wait to start producing their top-shelf products.”