New industry to open in Brundidge

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 11, 2001

Features Editor

The announcement of a new business is always good news for any town, but it’s especially good news for Brundidge this time around.

Not only is Chuck Caraway in the process of starting a new business, he is also following a long-standing business tradition in Brundidge.

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Since the 1920s, Brundidge has had a strong economic base in the food processing business. Starting with the J.D. Johnston family’s peanut butter mill on what was once called Little Wall Street, Brundidge has depended on the food processing industry to help provide stability to its economy.

Caraway is committed to continuing that tradition by opening a food processing company on Main Street, but with plans to move into a larger facility in the very near future.

Southern Classic Food Group will be temporarily located in the old Piggly Wiggly building, which is undergoing renovation.

"Basically what we have now is a roof and four walls," Caraway said. "We’ve gutted the building and are preparing it for the installation of equipment in a couple of weeks. We plan to be producing products by May."

The company’s production line with be primarily speciality products, including ice cream toppings, barbecue sauce, marinades and wing sauce and mayonnaise and mustard.

Caraway, who lives in Barbour County near Louisville, has 18 years experience in the food service business. After graduation from Troy State University, he worked as a certified public accountant three years before joining Piknik of Montgomery.

For the past six years, he served as the company’s vice president of operations and was responsible for the three manufacturing and warehousing facilities, one of which is located in Brundidge.

Caraway said the time was right for him to step out on his own and form his own business and Brundidge seemed to be the right place.

Brundidge has significant number of people with experience in the food service industry who can provide a ready pool for employment.

Initially the company will employ 12 to 14 workers, but Caraway predicts that number will grow to 40 plus within two years.

Southern Classic Food Group will produce products for the retail market with plans to expand into the food service market.

"For now, we will package products for companies according to their particular formulas, but we will work in product development to create new products for our company," Caraway said. "We plan to be in Brundidge for a long time. And, as we grow, it will be beneficial for our company and for the city, We are proud to be a part of the Brundidge business community and look forward to growing our business here."