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Saluting industry is good business

Congratulations to Southern Classic Food Group, LLC, which was honored as the industry of the year at the Brundidge Business Association Banquet on Thursday.

The company has been manufacturing food products since 2002 in Brundidge, producing everything from mayonnaise to barbecue sauce to chocolate dessert topping. Throughout that time, Southern Classic Foods has grown to employ about 120 people full time, adding as many as 50 or 60 seasonally as demand increases. With an annual payroll of $3.9 million, Southern Classic is an important building block of Pike County’s diversified economic base. Moreover, by utilizing local partners, such as Troy based shippers Sanders Truck Lines and Tyler Transport, as well as JCrawley Transportation in Banks, Southern Classic is doing its part to support and grow other local businesses, an equally important part of economic development.

And all of this takes place in Brundidge, a small community with a diverse mix of antiques stores, small-town charm and a bent for economic growth. The choice to honor Southern Classic was a smart, and easy one, for the BBA, and we join with the group in saluting Southern Classics.

As Pike County continues to grow and diversify its economy – most recently with the addition of CGI, which opened earlier this month– we do well to take stock of the strength of our local businesses and remember how fortunate we are to have an economic base that features of mix of manufacturing, transportation, technology, retail, agriculture and small businesses. Organizations such as the Pike County Economic Development Corp. are focused on growing and expanding that economic base, as is evidenced with the CGI project. Groups such as the BBA and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce are focused on nurturing and fostering existing businesses, creating a climate that helps businesses and retailers find success, just like Southern Classic Foods has done.

And, every once in a while, it’s time to stop and say thanks, with a pat on the back, for being a part of our community and our economic growth. That’s good news for Southern Classic Foods, for Brundidge and all of Pike County.