Local Stories

State of the Art Innovation Homegrown in Farmville

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Natural Blend Vegetable Dehydration transformed an old textile factory – the former Collins & Aikman building – into a fully-renovated facility, bringing life back to a vacant building located in the Town of Farmville. The town applied for and secured $480,000 in grants from the NC Rural Economic Development Center to address water and sewer infrastructure needed for Natural Blend to utilize the factory which closed in 2006.  

The renovated facility is located just down the road from Natural Blend’s farming operations. To date, the company has invested more than $16 million toward the 27,000 square foot factory that turns sweet potatoes into dehydrated pellets that are then sold to pet food manufacturers. The state of the art dehydration process allows Natural Blend to preserve all of the nutrients, color, and health benefits better than any other facility in operation today. The facility can process up to 30,000 pounds of raw product per hour, which amounts to 120,000 pounds of finished product in a day.

The company has created 40 full-time jobs, with an average salary of $38,000, and plans to continue growing the operation.