About 16 months after it was announced that The Crump Group Inc. of Canada was moving into the vacant 190,000-square-foot former Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients building in Nashville, Crump Group plant manager Todd Fraysier said the plant successfully processed its first order last week.

On a recent tour of Nash County’s industries, Andy Hagy, director of Nash County Economic Development, told members of the Nash County Economic Development Coalition that the configuration of the CIFI building was well-suited to the needs of its new owners.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is tentatively scheduled in March, Fraysier said. In describing the work that goes into dialing in an automated food processing system, the plant manager said the process involves “little steps.”

A first shift of roughly 30 to 40 employees will be employed when regular production begins in March. When all three shifts are running this summer, roughly 160 will be employed at the plant.

Fraysier said filling the first order involved all phases of the plant’s operations — receiving the farm-fresh ingredients, cooking and dehydrating the ingredients, packaging and placing the finished product inventory to be shipped. The retailer Tractor Supply Co. was the customer.

A regional payroll impact in excess of $6 million has been projected by the state Department of Commerce. Crump Group’s jobs will pay an average annual salary of $42,016, slightly above Nash County’s average of $41,827.


Much of what Crump’s Naturals produces has sweet potato as a primary ingredient, and the new plant will give local sweet potato producers a replacement for the buyer they lost when CIFI ceased operations in April 2021.


“Agricultural products like sweet potatoes have always been one of North Carolina’s great calling cards on the international stage,” state Sen. Lisa Stone Barnes, R-Nash, said in 2021. “This natural bounty helped attract the Crump Group to Nash County, and we’re excited to see their business expand to North Carolina. It’s a ‘sweet’ project for the local agribusiness economy.”