Parham/Central Kitchen back in action; new owners still hiring
It definitely wasn't the feel-good story of 2022.
Back in July, Food Service Partners filed for bankruptcy and seemingly skipped town overnight, leaving roughly four dozen employees high-and-dry and without being paid for several weeks of work. Food Service Partners first began processing and packing food inside of the supersized Parham/Central Kitchen back in 2020, full of big promises.
Then came the fall, however, and the facility was left empty and unoccupied for several months. Now, a new company is pumping new life into the property. Peach State Kitchens recently took over the lease on the property and is now up and running. Roughly four dozen employees already have been hired, and the company is looking to hire roughly a dozen more. For job opportunities at the Milledgeville facility, CLICK HERE.
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Peach State Kitchens, like Food Service Partners, is a "co-packer," basically contracting with companies to mix, cook, pack, freeze and ship out frozen meals and frozen foods to grocery stores and retailers.
Fortunately, Peach State Kitchens has been able to re-hire many of the employees from the old Food Service Partners regime. One of those is Jonathan Herrington, the facility's general manager. Herrington worked as director of procurement for Food Service Partners. Like many other employees, he was caught off guard by Food Service Partners' bankruptcy and is still waiting to receive his final paychecks, which may or may not ever happen.
"We were able to bring back many of the old dedicated employees, which is great," he said.
Although it may be difficult to conceptualize from the outside of the building, the Parham/Central Kitchen is massive, clocking in at 115,000 square feet and equipped with one full acre of cold storage. Unlike the previous ownership group, which came to town promising to hire 400-500 people, Herrington said that Peach State Kitchens will be much more honest and realistic with its expectations.
"Over time, if everything goes well, I could see us potentially employing 100 to 120 people at some point down the road," he said. "For the time being, we just want to focus on the clients that we have now and doing the best that we can for them."