Mexican entrepreneurs Roberto Arreguin and Leslie Norton, co-owners of Virc LLC, were joined by the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio and city officials for the grand opening of its new gummy manufacturing plant in Selma, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio. The plant will manufacture gummy candies ranging from traditional varieties to low sugar, sour and spicy types.
In 2014, the company established an office in San Antonio, Texas, through the International Business Development Center (IBDC) program of Free Trade Alliance San Antonio. Within 12 months, the company had broken ground on five acres of land in Selma’s Olympia Business Park to construct a 25,000-sq.-ft. candy manufacturing plant. The new plant will accommodate 15 highly trained employees operating specialized equipment.
“We are very excited to be at the point of opening this facility,” Arreguin said. “Besides the usual construction related delays, there were issues procuring our specialized equipment, which took this project beyond our expected completion date.”
During the construction the company continued to refine its operation and sales strategy as well as recruit employees to work in the new facility, he explained.
“We’ve had a lot of interest and we’re now looking at hiring between 12 and 15 employees in the next few weeks,” he added.
Carlos Jarquin, president and ceo of Free Trade Alliance San Antonio, who worked directly with the company during its business incubation at the Alliance’s IBDC, said that when the entrepreneurs first approached the Alliance with the project idea, he had no idea that it would be such a big project.
“Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates the importance of cooperation and synergy between different organizations,” he said. “The Alliance brought its business development capabilities and strong connections to the table, while the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and the City of Selma were able to assist the company to locate a suitable site, once they were ready to build their facility.”