Specialty Foods Group, Inc. can trace its roots in Owensboro back to 1914, when “Charles Field started Field and Company with two employees and a horse drawn wagon right here (in Owensboro),” said Steve Wright, President of Specialty Foods Group. One hundred years later, Wright announced the company’s $2.6 million ham capacity expansion project at a ribbon cutting held this morning in the lobby of the Owensboro Convention Center.
The expansion includes updating equipment to improve product quality and increase production capacity, which will enable SFG to continue growth on a national level. “Our Kentucky Legend Ham is the most nationally distributed boneless ham on the market,” Wright said. Other brands in the SFG portfolio include Field, Fischer’s, Kentuckian Gold, Mickelberry’s, and Scott Peete.
Most importantly for Owensboro/Daviess County, the expansion means 65 new jobs, an announcement big enough that Governor Steve Beshear was on hand to celebrate. Wright said they are now in the process of hiring.
“What this means is some people don’t have a job today, but they will have one tomorrow. Some people have a job right now, but they will have a better one tomorrow,” said County Judge Executive Al Mattingly.
“The announcement of an expansion on their 100th year in business,” Mayor Ron Payne said, “is a great present to Owensboro.” Part of that gift is SFG’s effort to be involved in the community. This summer, SFG has been involved in several events, including “An Afternoon in the Park,” the Daviess County Public School Foundation “Luau,” the Barbecue Festival, and ROMP.
Wright also announced at the ribbon cutting that Specialty Foods Group is relocating its headquarters from Hampton, Virginia, to Owensboro.
“This investment (and relocation) also demonstrates the company’s confidence in Kentucky’s quality workforce and business climate,” Governor Beshear said. Beshear then bragged on the people of Owensboro, Owensboro City Government, and Daviess County Fiscal Court. “I can’t think of a place in Kentucky that has shown more leadership or that has made more things happen than Owensboro/Daviess County has. I’m proud to have been a part of it, but you have made all of this happen.”
“This has been an exciting year for Specialty Foods Group,” Wright said. “This is just the first block in the foundation of a bright future for SFG.”