On the afternoon of Thursday, April 25, Cambro, a manufacturing plant with a facility in Mebane’s North Carolina Commerce Park, celebrated the completion of a $10 million expansion that has added approximately 250,000 square feet to its local space. The facility is now approximately 470,000 square feet. Cambro officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony alongside Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson, Alamance County Commissioners Amy Scott Galey and Steve Carter, and Alamance Chamber of Commerce head Mac Williams.
Cambro first came to Mebane back in 2014, establishing a 220,000 square foot facility in the N.C. Commerce Park and a total investment of approximately $30.4 million, with plans to add 100 new jobs to the area. The warehouse welcomed its first new employees in the spring of 2015. In the late summer of 2017, Cambro announced plans for the expansion of 250,000 square feet to the Mebane facility in an agreement with Samet Corporation.
“It’s hard to believe that it was just four short years ago that we had this same type of event when we opened the facility. It was in April of 2015,” Greg Fischer, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said in a brief statement prior to the ribbon cutting. “Within the last two years, we have expanded the facility to almost 500,000 square feet. In addition, we have added two additional manufacturing processes, a North American training center, and a showroom. It is an operational plant. We have a lot of moving machinery out there.”
Cambro, a California-based company founded by two brothers in 1951, specializes in the production of food-service products for a wide range of industries including restaurants, hospitals, prisons, and other commercial businesses. The company produces everything from food trays, pans, lids, and food storage devices, shelving and dish racks, to table service items and insulated food transport products.
The jobs coming to Mebane have an average salary in the mid-$40,000 annual range - approximately $10,000 above the town’s average annual income per resident of $34,000 per year.
“The success (in Mebane) has been unbelievable,” Fischer continued. “We have been able to service our customers in the eastern half of the United States far better than we ever could from California. It wouldn’t have been possible without not only the City of Mebane, but the folks of Alamance County, the Chamber (of Commerce), and local businesses. The support we’ve had here has been unbelievable. Without it, we could have never accomplished what we have.”
“I can assure you we are going to continue to invest in the area. That came directly from our President. We’re not done yet (in Mebane),” Fischer added.
“It really is my pleasure to be here to congratulate Cambro on this expansion. It’s really amazing to think that in just three years they’ve doubled the size of this facility to nearly 500,000 of square feet,” Lisa Pennington, the 2019 Alamance County Chamber Board of Directors Chairman said. “I can tell you as someone who spent her entire career in the hospital and health services industries, I have handled hundreds of food trays. And it’s really important that you have a sturdy, high-quality, easy to clean tray in hospital patient rooms. It truly is an honor to be here. We’re just delighted that you’re here. We’re thrilled that you have decided to include Alamance County in your success.”
“What a nice day it is to be in Mebane,” Mayor Stephenson added. “Our city continues to grow and change. Change is not always welcomed by a lot of people. But we’re changing, and have changed. And we’re going to continue to keep it up for a long, long time.”
The Mayor extolled the virtues of Mebane’s location and growing regional footprint, which has made eastern Alamance County one of the top places in North Carolina for new and expanding corporations to set up operations.
“Cambro came here about four years ago. The City of Mebane has added about 4,000 people to its population over that period of time. I think that’s probably due to three reasons. One, we have a great location. We’re between the Triangle and the Triad - some of the most active cities in the country,” Stephenson said. “Number two, we have seen built in Mebane literally hundreds and hundreds of homes and apartments in last few years. People can find a place to live here. Number three would be jobs. We’ve had hundreds of jobs come to Mebane over the last two or three years. A lot of that growth has been encouraged and led by Cambro itself.”
“It’s quite a decision to come to North Carolina. We’re particularly glad that you found Mebane - a good place in which to locate,” Stephenson continued. “We’re going to continue to grow. We’re right in the middle of some of the best medical facilities in the world. We’ve got more than 20 colleges and universities within striking distance of Mebane. We have the finest sports and entertainment that you can find anywhere. It’s simply a great place to live, do business, raise your family, and enjoy life.”
“We’re delighted that Cambro is here. We hope you’re making money. I’m a retired banker, and I like people to make money. They take care of their employees, pay good salaries, provide good benefits, and provide a future - a better standard of living for the people that find a career here. We wish Cambro the best of everything.”
“It’s my delight and honor to represent Alamance County, and to join in the celebration with Cambro,” added Alamance County Commissioner Chair Amy Scott Galey. “It’s really wonderful to know that the state of manufacturing in the United States of America is alive and well, and that there are jobs (in the area). We are a prospering and thriving community. It’s also exciting to see the big highway coming in next to this facility, demonstrating the investment from the state of North Carolina in our transportation and in our infrastructure. It’s just a great honor and a treat to be able to represent the county, and to welcome you here.”