Frozen sandwich maker to hire 200 for plant near Tupelo

Rbrn_Philly_2pk4-2oz-BODYSHANNON, Mississippi (AP) — A California company will soon be making sandwiches in a former meat processing factory near Tupelo.

Raybern Foods plans to invest more than $10 million and hire 200 people to make frozen deli sandwiches in a 130,000 square foot building in Shannon. Raybern, of Hayward, California, makes frozen sandwiches that it sells through grocers including Wal-Mart. The company says it makes more than a million sandwiches a week, including bread that cooks up soft in a microwave.

“On behalf of the team at Raybern Foods, we are thrilled to join the thriving Mississippi business community,” Raybern CEO Rob Leibowitz said in a statement. “At Raybern’s, we have a strong heritage of producing delicious, high quality artisan foods. Relocating our operations to Tupelo will help ensure the strength of our business for years to come.”

The Mississippi Development Authority will provide up to $2 million in assistance, including $1.75 million to building improvements and relocation costs, $200,000 to local governments for infrastructure work and $50,000 for worker training.

Tupelo’s Community Development Foundation is also providing unspecified assistance.

State officials could not provide information on how much workers will make. Raybern plans to begin hiring by March.

MDA said Raybern will buy the plant, built in 1999 by Bryan. Sara Lee, which bought Bryan, formerly made cocktail smokies in the building. Sara Lee closed the plant and laid off 150 workers in 2012, transferring production elsewhere.