TROY, N.C. -- Raleigh-based Wright Foods unveiled a new food processing plant Monday in Troy that plans to eventually employ more than 100 men and women.
The plant created 35 new jobs for now and Wright Foods said it plans to hire more in six to eight weeks as the company expands.
CEO Michael Drozd, who grew up outside of Denton, said he believes food processing can do for North Carolina what furniture was able to do for the state before NAFTA.
"This is our new resurgence. Food processing is the latest textiles and furniture. It's what's going to sustain our state," Drozd said.
Officials said Wright Foods began in 2006 using a process developed at NC State. The process allows fruits and vegetables to last longer on store shelves and depend less on refrigeration.
The company's new digs in Troy was once a chicken plant. Authorities said the building was just one of the reasons Wright Foods chose Montgomery County.
"This was the place to be. This county has more to offer than any other place that we found," Drozd said.
Troy Mayor Roy Maness said it's been 10 years since big job news like this came to town. He said he hopes it is the beginning of a full-scale comeback.
"This is just the start. As they grow we'll grow with employees," Maness said.