After a six-month analysis of Old Dominion Peanut Co.’s manufacturing facility in Norfolk, Va., parent company Hammond’s Brands has determined it will shut down all operations there.
Citing a neighborhood in transition from manufacturing and warehousing to retail and upscale residential apartments, as well as higher operating costs, and the lack of efficiency operating out of multiple buildings, the company expects to complete the closing by early summer this year.
“Business decisions that directly impact our employees are extremely difficult,” said Andrew Schuman, president and ceo of Hammond’s Brands. “Old Dominion has operated in Norfolk for over 100 years and we have employees that have been with us for nearly 40 years. The plant closure does not reflect the end of the Old Dominion Peanut Co.; rather it marks the beginning of the next chapter of our business operations for long-term health.”
Hammond’s Brands will relocate part of the manufacturing operations to its headquarters in Denver and certain production of its products will be transferred to a third party under a long-term co-manufacturing agreement.
“This is a company restructuring initiative that will allow the company to intensify product scope and drive future profitability to our core businesses,” Schuman added. “Our response to this unfortunate solution is that we must combine a commitment to long-term investments in innovation and manufacturing. We believe this closure is crucial to our ability to increase efficiency and reduce the company’s cost structure. Today’s news will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy and drive long-term change, all to further Hammond’s success.”
The Norfolk facility currently employs approximately 70 wage and salaried employees and produces products such as peanut brittles, nut candies and chocolate-covered nuts. Recognizing that the Old Dominion facility has been a significant part of the local economy in Norfolk, Hammond’s is enlisting the aid of the Virginia Employment Commission and communities to allow workers the maximum access to public services and ensure a seamless transition for its employees.
“I am overwhelmingly appreciative of the contributions each of our employees have made to our company and am sorry we have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to continue operations in Norfolk,” Schuman stressed. “Norfolk remains a wonderful place to do business and we have greatly respected the many services over the years provided by the city. We wish nothing but the best for the Norfolk and Hampton Roads communities.”