Photo: It’s out with the Pure Foods chickpea cheezpuffs and in with the Brim’s pork rinds in Kingsport.
By Scott Robertson
Brimhall Foods, Inc., of Bartlett, Tenn., won a March 7 auction to acquire the assets of Kingsport, Tenn.-based Pure Foods. The maker of the Brim’s brand of snack foods will occupy the building in the Gateway Commerce Park near the intersection of Interstates 81 and 26, employing the remaining 20 PureFoods employees.
Pure Foods had announced a temporary shutdown of the facility in Oct. 2016 before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 30.
The 87,000-square-foot building is a certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO snack manufacturing facility, built new for Pure Foods by J. A. Street in 2015. In addition to the building itself, Brimhall acquired a corn cooking system, a fried food manufacturing line, a baked food manufacturing line, an extruder manufacturing line, a packaging system consisting of inline conveyors, horizontal motion conveyor loops, scale platform, and both Bosch and Matrix baggers, and a state-of-the-art testing laboratory for new product line development.
Pure Foods had occupied the Kingsport facility under a ten-year lease with a purchase option at the end of the lease. The purchase price option was based on the outstanding debt, reduced by rent payments to the Kingsport Economic Development Board. The current debt is estimated to be approximately $6 million.
Brimhall will essentially take over the terms of the Pure Foods lease, which still has around eight years remaining with an option to buy. The purchase price has not been released, but the auction included a minimum bid of $3.2 million. Three bidders were identified prior to the sale. Resurgence Financial Services handled the auction for Pure Foods.