COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bob Evans Farms (Nasdaq: BOBE) and its subsidiary, Owens Country Sausage, have purchased a food production plant in Sulphur Springs, Texas, which will allow for an expansion of the company's production of convenience foods. The 52,777-square-foot facility will serve as the sandwich assembly plant for the company. The plant represents a $4 million investment for the company. Bob Evans and Owens' popular SnackWiches line of convenience sandwiches for retail, foodservice and convenience store use, will be assembled at the new Owens Country Sausage plant in Sulphur Springs. Items produced at the plant will be shipped throughout the Owens and Bob Evans 30-state distribution system. Major renovations and upgrades of the four-year-old facility, including expansion of the freezer and refrigeration capacity and changing the product flow, are expected to be complete by Jan. 1, 2004. A total of 60 employees are expected to be employed at the new Owens plant, with some transferred from elsewhere in the company. The facility is expected to employ 100 within its first two years of operation. Information regarding job opportunities at the plant are available at www.owensinc.com . "This is our first Owens plant located outside the Dallas/Fort Worth area and it represents significant growth opportunities for our company," said Bob Evans Farms Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Stewart Owens. It is 70 miles from the original Owens plant in Richardson, Texas. "This purchase fits well into our long-range plan and represents our commitment to continuing the growth we've seen in our convenience food items." Located in the northwest area of Sulphur Springs just off Interstate 30, the plant was purchased from Kozy Shack Enterprises, a family-owned dessert manufacturer based in New York. Items which will be shipped from the plant include Bob Evans and Owens SnackWiches line of sausage biscuits; sausage, egg & cheese biscuits; sausage cheeseburgers and bacon, egg & cheese biscuits. These items are currently produced in the company's Richardson, Texas, plant. In addition its food production plant in Texas, Bob Evans Farms operates production plants in Bidwell, Springfield and Xenia, Ohio; Hillsdale, Mich.; and Galva, Ill. Owens Country Sausage is a subsidiary of Bob Evans Farms Inc. The company is a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and other homestyle convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names, which are available in 30 states. Bob Evans also owns and operates 522 full-service, family restaurants in 22 states primarily located in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Owens Restaurants operate in Texas. For more information about Bob Evans Farms Inc., visit the company's Web site at www.bobevans.com .
SOURCE Bob Evans Farms, Inc.