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Bushnell plant closing as Kitchen Cooked merges with Utz

Kitchen Cooked Chips is planning to close its Bushnell facility after more than 40 years in the city.

According to Paul Blackhurst, a representative at Kitchen Cooked, the closure is part of an acquisition by Utz Quality Foods, a large, independent snack food brand based in Pennsylvania.

He said the decision to merge with the larger brand was in part to help the company become “more competitive in the marketplace.”

The shuttering of the Bushnell plant will not take place immediately, but over several months as production moves out of the facility. The transition is expected to affect about five employees. Blackhurst said the company plans to transfer the workers to another facility.

“It’ll be the best thing in the long run for both companies as we’re able to team together with Utz. They have about $1 billion in sales, and they’re going to continue in this market — be able to introduce some of their items in this market and help introduce our items in other markets that they carry. It’s a beneficial thing all around for us,” Blackhurst said.

Full report on the StarJournal here