The Lithonia Industrial Park will welcome Home Chef, a meal kit delivery service, which will create more than 1,200 jobs and invest $3.35 million in a new DeKalb County facility by 2020, officials have announced.
The wholesale distribution center will lease the 140,000-square-foot facility now occupied by Miller International Food on Lithonia Industrial Boulevard.
“Home Chef is among the many innovative companies using Georgia’s high-performing transportation infrastructure to grow their distribution network,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release. “By establishing this new facility and utilizing the state’s skilled workforce, Home Chef will be able to reach more of the Southeastern market and meet the needs of a growing customer base. I look forward to the company’s continued investment and growth in our state.”
Home Chef’s new facility will serve as a wholesale purchasing, assembling, packaging and distribution center.
“We’re undergoing tremendous growth and are excited to expand our distribution footprint,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef founder and CEO. “The culture of collaboration makes Georgia the ideal location for us today and tomorrow. We’re confident that DeKalb has the skilled workforce necessary for us to achieve our ambitious growth goals.”
Home Chef’s investment in the Lithonia area is exciting news for other business owners in the Lithonia area such as Mike McClinton, who owns Robert’s Restaurant at 2810 Evans Mill Road.
“I’m excited because it will bring workers to my restaurant. They will be looking for somewhere to eat lunch and dinner and we have some of the best soul food known to Man,” said McClinton.
McClinton said he expects new housing developments will be spurred by the 1.200 jobs Home Chef will bring to the area.
“They are going to have to build housing in the area. I believe it’s going to be a major economic impact,” said McClinton. “It’s what we need in DeKalb.”
Home Chef currently employs more than 500 people nationwide in marketing, technology, production and customer service.
Home Chef offers fresh ingredients with step-by-step instructions for consumers to make quality dishes right at home from the meal kits that are delivered to consumers who purchase them.
State Rep. Doreen Carter, who represents District 92 and is president of the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce, says she loves the idea of a company not only creating jobs but providing healthy eating options for the community.
“I am excited that we have a company that is truly using innovation to provide healthy food options for families has chosen Lithonia to be their home,” said Carter. “The Lithonia community will truly benefit. I believe that this is the beginning of the much-anticipated revival of the industrial area.
Home Chef delivered more than 1 million meals in 2015 and expanded to nationwide service in 2016.
“Home Chef’s presence in DeKalb will be the first meal kit delivery service production facility in metro Atlanta, an exciting new concept taking the nation by storm,” said Decide DeKalb President Ray Gilley. “With this unique project choosing to locate in the heart of east DeKalb, it signals to us and hopefully the rest of the business community, the incredible opportunities available here for additional jobs and investment. DeKalb’s robust transportation network, close proximity to the airport and diverse workforce will help enhance Home Chef’s delivery capacity to new and existing customers in and around the southeastern United States.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) project manager Josh Stephens represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with Global Food Properties, Decide DeKalb, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Quick Start and Georgia Power.
“In partnership with our economic development allies in DeKalb County, we are thrilled to celebrate the news that an innovative company like Home Chef has decided to grow their U.S. operation in Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “We are in the business of creating quality job and investment opportunities across the state, and we are looking forward to the positive impact that Home Chef is sure to have on the region.”