Flowers Foods will invest $25 million to turn its Lynchburg bakery into an organic facility, creating 15 new jobs, the governor's office announced Thursday.

The project is expected to be complete by late summer. The bakery is on Hollins Mill Road in Lynchburg.

“Flowers Foods’ bakery is an institution in Lynchburg,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a news release, which noted the company has operated the bakery for more than 40 years. “Focusing the bakery on the growing market for organic food will help secure its future in Virginia. The food processing industry has blossomed both in Lynchburg and in our Commonwealth, and we are proud to support Flowers Foods as they grow and prosper here.”

Northam approved a $250,000 performance-based grant to assist Lynchburg with the project. The company also is eligible for additional state benefits.

"We chose to convert our Lynchburg bakery for a number of reasons, including its geographic location, access to key interstate highways, and the partnership we have with local and state agencies. However, one of the more compelling reasons was the outstanding team of individuals we have at our bakery,” Flowers Foods COO Brad Alexander said in the news release.

Thomasville, Georgia-based Flowers Foods operates 46 bakeries in 18 states and has more than 9,700 employees. Its brands include Dave's Killer Bread, Nature's Own, Wonder and Tastykake. Alexander said the expansion is a result of increased demand for the Dave's Killer Bread organic brand.

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Reach Busse at (434) 385-5534.

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