A national dessert manufacturer based in Sanford is moving forward with expansion plans after city leaders agreed to sell about an acre of land near a retention pond.
The agreement will keep the company, The Father's Table LLC, in the city.
Sanford City Commissioners on May 22 declared a 55-foot-by-771 strip of city-owned land surplus, and approved Mayor Jeff Triplett to sign a quick-claim deed to MG Real Estate LLC, an affiliate of The Father's Table.
The transfer is subject to the company meeting the city's engineering and permitting requirements for both the building and the modification of a portion of a 26-acre city retention pond. The Father's Table has yet to submit those plans.
The expansion will allow the company to add about 8,000 square feet to its 88,416-square-foot facility on Country Club Road. Most of that space will be used for freezers and storage.
Bob White, a member of the board of directors, said the building is now at capacity, and the company was considering a move out of state because the property is landlocked.
"We've seen steady growth over the last few years, and we have no space to continue to grow," he said. The Father's Table has hired 40 percent more workers since 2014, and now employs more than 660 people.
Sanford Economic Development Director Bob Turk said The Father's Table is one of the city's largest employers.
"They've been a good corporate citizen. Most of their employees live in Sanford, and a good portion of those live in the neighboring Goldsboro community," said Turk. "It was important that we keep them in Sanford and not have them out of state."
The Father's Table makes cheesecakes, specialty dessert items, pizza snack rolls and seasonal items. The company sells its products to national retail accounts like Walmart, as well as wholesales clubs, convenience stores and school lunch programs.
The company donates 50 percent of its profits to The Father's Table Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1984 that supports 150 women's and children's charities in more than 15 countries.