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GraceKennedy opens US$5-M facility

GraceKennedy (GK) Group CEO, Don Wehby (centre) beams with pride after cutting the ribbon to signal the official opening of GraceKennedy USA’s new US$5-Million multi-purpose, 125,000-square-foot facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Joining in the celebration are: (from left) GraceKennedy Group CFO Andrew Messado, GKUS CEO Derrick Reckord, GK director Gina Phillipps Black, GK Chairman Prof Gordon Shirley, GK International Foods CEO Andrea Coy, and GK director Everton McDonald, assisted by members of an external promotional team. (Photo: Grace Kennedy Group)

GraceKennedy (GK) Group officially opened a new Grace/La Fe facility in Woodbridge, New Jersey, on Monday, October 7, as it seeks to become a global consumer group.

Speaking at the official opening, Grace Kennedy Group CEO Don Wehby stated: “To realise this vision of becoming a global consumer group we determined that we needed to have our own company in the US because if the size and potential of this market.”

Grace Kennedy Group CEO Don Wehby (Photo: Twitter @dgwehby)

Wehby explained further that as the group conducted its due diligence to become a global consumer group, it recognised synergies within Jamaican, Caribbean and Latin American cultures.

In doing so, GraceKennedy discovered, “a great match in the La Fe brand, being a strong Hispanic brand”, which resulted in the journey to build a facility to host both brands.

“Since then, Grace and La Fe brands have experienced significant growth year-on-year,” Wehby added.

At a cost of US$5 million, the custom-built 125,000-square-foot facility boasts a modern layout that is fully compliant with health and safety requirements. The new space should increase operating efficiencies and reduce cost, while housing GraceKennedy employees in a central location.

GK aiming to become global consumer group

According to GK International Foods CEO Andrea Coy, the state-of-the-art facility will enable the multinational giant to, “better serve its loyal partners and customers, which is of paramount importance to us.”

Wehby told some 70 guests, including GK director and managers, at the breakfast event that he believes that GKUSA can become one of the top-three Hispanic brands in the USA.

“If we stay the course, increase our efficiencies and focus on innovation, together we can achieve this goal. This business is of critical importance to our vision of becoming a global consumer group. We have operated this company for over five years and since inception, I have said that our Graceennedy USA operations, through our Grace and La Fe brands, will be a game-changer for the GraceKennedy Group,” he said.