Chick-fil-A will soon begin construction in Bartow County on the Atlanta-based chain’s first company-owned distribution center that will create up to 300 jobs, Gov. Brian Kemp announced recently.

“Today is an exciting day as we announce that Chick-fil-A — one of our state’s most successful companies and a hometown favorite — will create 300 brand-new jobs for hardworking Georgians in Bartow County,” Kemp said in a news release April 18.

“To be able to say that Georgia is now home to Chick-fil-A’s first-ever, company-owned distribution facility is a big win for us and highlights our world-class logistics infrastructure,” he said.

The new positions at the full-scale facility in Bartow County will include drivers, warehouse team members, leadership team members, and administrative staff.

Chick-fil-A will open the distribution center initially as a pilot facility in the summer of 2019, serving as a learning lab while the full-scale permanent facility is being built in the Cartersville Business Park on Cass-White Road near I-75, a news release stated.

At a nearby site, the new, full-scale distribution center will open in the summer of 2020 with the capacity to serve up to 300 restaurants.

Some Bartow leaders said the county offers both a good location and the cooperative spirit that will make Chick-fil-A’s efforts at creating an innovative operation a success.

Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said it was “truly our pleasure to extend the many advantages that this community has to the success of this ‘first of its kind’ milestone with Chick-fil-A.”

“We believe that collaboration is key to mutual success and are excited to be part of this partnership between Cartersville-Bartow County, Chick-fil-A and the state of Georgia,” Taylor said.

Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, said Chick-fil-A’s decision to build in Bartow “is a meaningful milestone for all concerned, certainly Bartow County.”

“This is a first-of-its-kind type of operation for the company,” Lemmon said.

“I believe Bartow County is the perfect location for Chick-fil-A to put the innovative ideas to work,” she said.

“Community leaders have committed to work hard to support the start-up and ongoing success of the company,” she said. “When Bartow companies succeed our citizens succeed, Commissioner Steve Taylor often reminds me.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development Project Manager Hank Evans represented the department’s Global Commerce Division which worked with the Bartow County Department of Economic Development, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Quick Start, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and the nonprofit Electric Cities of Georgia.

Lemmon, who helped negotiate the deal, singled out some who helped bring about the the company’s announcement, including Evans, attorney Boyd Pettit of the Development Authority of Bartow County, and Grant Cagle of Electric Cities.

She also said she “cannot thank ... enough” the teams from Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, Colliers International, the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority and the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce.

Chick-fil-A employs more than 18,000 in restaurants statewide in Georgia. It operates more than 2,400 restaurants in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

Paul Trotti, executive director on the distribution project, said, “We are thrilled to be opening our first distribution center right here in Georgia.

“This investment will allow us to continue to innovate around Chick-fil-A restaurants’ unique needs so that we can better serve restaurant operators and team members, and ultimately our guests,” he said.

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said, “We couldn’t be more proud that an established home-grown brand like Chick-fil-A will expand its operations in our own backyard.

“Chick-fil-A’s ranking as one of the ‘Top 100 Best Places to Work’ is a win for Bartow County as they seek to create 300 new jobs at the new facility. Congratulations to all of our economic development partners involved in this exciting project.”

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said, “As a primary customer for Georgia’s nation-leading poultry industry, Chick-fil-A’s first company-owned distribution center is a natural fit for our state.

“Chick-fil-A has a strong reputation for their commitment to service and quality and we are proud to partner with them as they enter this new arena in the food service sector.”

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