Bob Evans Farms Launches BEST to Invest Initiative in Ohio

Company Announces Move of Corporate Headquarters

Remains Committed to Central Ohio, Plans to Build New Campus in Village of New Albany

Mar 10, 2011, 14:42 ET from Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Evans Farms, Inc., today announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from its current South High Street location in Columbus to a newly built corporate campus in the Village of New Albany, Ohio, with an anticipated completion in 2013.

"We're pleased to announce our plans to remain in Central Ohio. We have been a major part of the Ohio economy for decades, employing nearly 14,000 Ohioans, and contributing more than $1 million annually to philanthropic community-based efforts across the state," says Chairman and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. Steve Davis. "Ohio is where our company was founded – it's the site of our roots and our brand heritage – and we're committed to growing our company here."

The Village of New Albany was selected as the location of the new campus due to its abundance of available land, robust infrastructure, ease of development, convenient location near I270 and proximity to the airport. The new campus is in the area of State Route 161 and Beech Road.

"We are also pleased to announce plans to move to a new corporate campus – one that represents our multiple brands, and supports our plan to innovate, expand and grow the business in the State of Ohio," says Davis. "The decision is the product of an unprecedented partnership between Bob Evans Farms, the State of Ohio and the Village of New Albany."

"We have had great partners in The Ohio Department of Development. They have worked hard to deliver incentives that make Ohio the best option for our business," continues Davis. "Ohio was very competitive economically with the other options we considered."

Close to 400 employees are located on the South High Street campus, and the company's plans for growth and expansion require different types of flexible spaces and room for additional headcount. In addition, the company reports that re-developing the current campus for its needs was less cost-effective than the other options.

Bob Evans Farms carefully weighed a number of options before settling on the New Albany location, from remodeling its existing location, to moving into an existing space in the city of Columbus or other suburban locations. The company owns property and operates campus locations and other facilities in Texas and considered relocating the headquarters there in an effort to exhaust all options. Over the last four years, the company has been increasing the number of support professionals working at its current location and is stretching the limitations of its current South High Street facilities.

"The Village of New Albany also has a robust and compelling long-term plan for the community," says Davis. "The Bob Evans Farms brand is a great fit with its verdant, vibrant, family-friendly community and it has been an excellent partner throughout the process."

"New Albany has implemented a strategic vision for the community through private and public sector partnerships," says New Albany Mayor Nancy Ferguson. "We are proud to welcome Bob Evans – a company that shares similar values and commitments – as our newest corporate partner."

The company also expressed gratitude to the State of Ohio and the City of Columbus for helping develop packages and programs to keep the company's current location a thriving center of business activity.

"We have been a vital part of the Central Ohio community since 1968, when we relocated from Gallipolis in Southeast Ohio. We have other tenants on our current campus who may want to grow and expand here," explains Davis. "I am confident that the base of jobs on the South High Street campus can continue to grow. We look forward to partnering with the City of Columbus and State of Ohio to make this a reality."

The campus plan announcement comes on the heels of Bob Evans Farms' announcements of the renovation of its entire 30-restaurant Dayton, Ohio, market and the more than $3 million renovation of the original Bob Evans Farm and first restaurant in Rio Grande, Ohio. The work is part of a campaign the company is calling "BEST to Invest in Ohio" – which characterizes the company's commitment to the economic success of the state.

Bob Evans Farms is a major economic presence in the state of Ohio with 194 Bob Evans restaurants, three Mimi's Cafe restaurants, two food products production plants, a distribution center, fleet maintenance centers, and the company's Farm and Homestead. The company generates nearly $36 million in tax revenue each year in the State of Ohio.

"Bob Evans Farms is a part of the fabric of Ohio," says Mark D. Kvamme, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. "We worked hard to keep the company's headquarters in the state, and we fully expect Bob Evans Farms will continue to grow and thrive here."

The company reiterated its commitment to the health of Columbus' South High Street corridor and has been working to ensure the continued use its current campus location, making sure it is an attractive site for future development.

"We look forward to partnering with the State of Ohio and the City of Columbus to help ensure that viable tenants take over the nearly 38 acres of campus space," says Davis.

The company says the new corporate headquarters will include a number of features to nurture a culture of innovation and collaboration for employees, including an innovation center for restaurant and food products teams as well as wellness, security and convenience features for employees. Detailed plans for the new campus are in progress and are contingent upon the negotiation and execution of mutually acceptable contracts related to the site, construction and tax incentives.

"We are excited about this new chapter in our company's history," says Davis. "Thanks to our partners in Ohio and in New Albany, we're looking for Bob Evans Farms to thrive and be a meaningful part of the Central Ohio community for many years to come."

About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi's Cafe brand names. At the end of the third fiscal quarter (Jan. 28, 2011), Bob Evans owned and operated 569 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi's Cafe owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary homestyle convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevans.com.

SOURCE Bob Evans Farms, Inc.



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