Business & Real Estate

Former Elk Grove bakery to become Mexican tortilla plant

A former industrial bakery in Elk Grove is going to become a Mexican food plant that’s expected to create 150 to 300 jobs.

Nina’s Mexican Food Products has purchased the former Bimbo Bakeries USA plant on Iron Rock Way, which has been closed since late 2013. Nina’s, a subsidiary of Ole Mexican Foods of Atlanta, hopes to start production of tortillas and other products by this spring, said Kristyn Nelson, a spokeswoman for the city of Elk Grove.

The company was lured to the location in part by some state and city financial incentives, said Bob Burris, executive vice president of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, which worked on the project.

Burris said the incentives persuaded Nina’s to move to Elk Grove instead of expand an existing plant in Nevada, “which we’re always excited about.”

The full extent of the incentives wasn’t available. Under a new program developed by the city, employers that create at least 20 new full-time jobs are eligible for $1,000 cash for each position, with additional incentives for hiring Elk Grove residents. There are minimum salary requirements.

Burris said Nina’s plans to expand beyond tortillas and manufacture additional products.

“This will be one of their top manufacturing sites in the U.S.,” Burris said.

Irv Rios of Colliers International, who represented Nina’s in the building purchase, said the company will probably be able to make use of some of the fixtures left behind. “It was very advantageous for them,” Rios said.

The 150,000-square-foot building sold for about $6.4 million.

Nina’s expects to hire 150 workers early on, Nelson said, and eventually could ramp up production to the point that employment will reach 300 jobs. She said she had no information about the process the company will use to hire employees. Jose Flores, regional operations director at Nina’s, declined comment Thursday.

The Bimbo plant employed 128 workers when it closed.

“This is great for Elk Grove,” said John Fondale of Newmark Cornish & Carey, who represented the seller of the building, Fite Development. “It will be a fantastic replacement for those jobs.”

Fondale said a lumber business, EL & EL Wood Products, rents about 30,000 square feet of the building, but its lease runs out in the spring.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.