RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Kalo Foods LLC, a baker of gluten-free gourmet food products, will locate its operations in Rockingham County. The company plans to create 21 jobs and invest nearly $650,000 over three years in Stokesdale. The project was made possible in part by a $70,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
“My first priority is creating jobs,” said Gov. Perdue. “Companies come to North Carolina because of our top-ranked business climate, historic investments in education and job training programs.”
Kalo Foods was created in 2011 to develop and market a unique line of gourmet gluten-free products and mixes. The company was founded by Michael Cusato, a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and Gerald Cusato, a U.S. Army veteran. Kalo’s products, which include artisan pizzas and pie crusts, cookies, brownies, and mixes, are sold under the Geralbaldi and Kalo brands. The company plans to sell these items in the Triad area market as well as through its Internet website.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $33,524. The Rockingham County average annual wage is $31,148.
“The decision to base our new gluten-free commercial bakery in North Carolina was made based on the pro-business attitude and business incentives offered by the state and Rockingham County,” said Michael Cusato, president of Kalo Foods. “We look forward to working with our new county and state partners who have helped make our decision possible. Our success will be North Carolina’s success.”
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate. Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state works aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investments have been created since 2001. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Rockingham County, N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, Town of Stokesdale and the Rockingham County Partnership for Tourism and Economic Development.
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