Ont. bean processor plans expansion

Southern Ontario bean processor Thompsons Ltd. has bought a soon-to-be-vacant manufacturing plant next door to its current site for possession early next year.

The company on Tuesday announced a deal to buy Erie Architectural Products’ nine-year-old, 38,000-square foot plant next to its own facility at Blenheim, about 80 km east of Windsor.

Thompsons said it plans to relocate its dry bean packaging operation to the new space starting in January, once Erie relocates to a larger plant at Lakeshore, about 65 km west of Blenheim.

Thompsons said it will begin installation of grocery and food service packaging equipment at the Erie plant once the sale is wrapped up, expected before the end of the year. Full operation is expected by mid-2011.

“In addition to increased storage capacity, we can now provide our buyers greater assurance in safe food handling procedures, top-quality packaging, and efficient product traceability,” Wes Thompson of Thompsons said in the company’s release.

“Dry bean and grocery packaging has been evolutional within the Thompson business since 1924 and we are pleased to acquire this environmentally sound, efficient manufacturing plant.”

“We appreciate Thompsons are able to utilize the plant to advance increased awareness in food production and processing here in (Chatham-Kent),” Ron Stronks of Erie Architectural Products said in the same release.

Erie, which also operates in Michigan, makes curtain and window walls, storefronts, entrances and skylight systems for commercial and institutional buildings.

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