The Old Dominion Peanut Company manufacturing plant in Norfolk, VA will close this year after more than a century in operation, according to a Jan. 5 announcement by its owner, Denver, CO-based confectionery firm Hammond’s Brands.
“Old Dominion has operated in Norfolk for over 100 years and we have employees that have been with us for nearly 40 years. The plant closure does not reflect the end of the Old Dominion Peanut Company, but rather it marks the beginning of the next chapter of our business operations for long-term health,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Hammond’s Brands, Andrew Schuman, said in a statement.
Hammond’s conducted a six-month review of Old Dominion’s operations and analyzed the needs of its customers, ultimately deciding to shutter the site. The Nortfolk plant manufactures peanut brittle, chocolate covered nuts, nut candies, and other products. It is expected to close in early summer 2018.
“The decision comes in the wake of a neighborhood in transition from manufacturing and warehousing, to retail and upscale residential apartments, higher operating costs, and lack of efficiencies operating out of multiple buildings,” the company’s release said.
Some of the Norfolk site’s operations will be shifted to Hammond’s headquarters in Denver, CO and some production work will be outsourced to third parties under a long-term co-manufacturing agreement.
“This is a company restructuring initiative that will allow the company to intensify product scope and drive future profitability to our core business. Our response to this unfortunate decision is that we must combine a commitment to long-term investments in innovation manufacturing,” said Schuman in the release. “We believe this closure is crucial to our ability to increase efficiency and reduce the company’s cost structure.”
70 wage and salaried workers will be impacted by the decision.