August 13, 2018. Anita’s Mexican Foods, Corp., a privately-owned, family-run snack food manufacturer based in San Bernardino, CA, is broadening its reach from the west coast to Tennessee with the acquisition of leading manufacturer and distributor Kingsport Food Company’s assets.
“Anita’s Mexican Foods is expanding its business across the nation,” explained CEO Ricardo Robles. “New operations will begin immediately in Kingsport, Tennessee. We will now able to supply customers more efficiently from coast to coast.”
The family behind Anita’s, a California SBA Business of the Year Award recipient, founded its sister company La Reina in 1958, later acquiring Anita’s to produce snack foods. Recently, they expanded their 140,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility by adding an additional 220,000 square feet to meet growing distribution demands.
Delivering on their philosophy of “healthy, good for you snacks,” Anita’s possesses multiple lines to produce tortilla chips, pellet snacks and taco shells. With the capacity to customize products and cook chips into custom shapes, using cooked corn and/or corn flour, they can grind, blend, and apply natural, topical seasoning to exceed a wide number of customer expectations.
Their snack foods are currently under co-pack and private label partnerships, but Anita’s leadership realized the need to provide their own co-packing and private label manufacturing in the South East. “This new facility will expand our capacity, capabilities and also provide expanded distribution and services to our current and new customers in the eastern half of the country,” explained president Ricardo Alvarez.
The new acquisition is an outgrowth of Anita’s extensive review of established and recognized co-packing and private label manufacturers in the southeast. The new facility will not only meet Anita’s high food safety standards, it will also provide ample space to expand their footprint and range of product offerings, including organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and Kosher snacks.
Following in the footsteps of founder and humanitarian Mauro Robles, Anita’s continues to focus on community involvement and philanthropy. The company values its employees as family members, some of which have been with the organization for decades. Alvarez sees the new acquisition as an opportunity to further expand its team. “We look forward to growing the employment of the facility,” he said.
Anita’s Mexican Foods Corporation operates from the former Pure Foods factory inside Tri-Cities Crossing in Kingsport.
It has been operating for a few weeks now with one manufacturing line six days a week with three shifts with now three lines with a total of 20 employees to now being almost 60 strong with hopes of growing to 150 workers. “Many of our customers asked us to manufacture and distribute in the eastern side of the United States. We looked at the area and the logistics around the Kingsport area as being very favorable to do that and to reach not only the southeast but also the northern part of the United States,” said Anita’s Snacks President Ric Alvarez.
According to Alvarez, Anita’s is executing its larger strategic plan through this acquisition, placing the award-winning business on the national stage, allowing them to produce and distribute healthy snack foods throughout the country.
The company will begin refurbishing the facility and will invest $4 million in the next few months on new equipment and will expand the warehouse due to much needed space to service their customers.