Jacksonville will soon be home to a new steak-cutting business that will employ up to 200 people. After months of consideration, The Bruss Co., a manufacturer of portion-controlled steaks and chops for the foodservice industry and a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., has chosen to proceed with plans to open a plant in the city.

The Chicago-based company is spending more than $11 million to buy and renovate a 47,000- square-foot meat processing facility in an industrial park in northwest Jacksonville. The acquisition was completed last week and renovations will begin soon.

Once operational, the plant will age and portion cuts of beef and pork, shipped in from meatpacking plants, into steaks and chops for the company’s restaurant customers.

“We’re expanding our business and opening a second plant to improve our ability to serve the company’s growing customer base in the southeastern U.S. and believe Jacksonville best suits our needs,” said Tony Cericola, general manager of The Bruss Company. “The location, availability of an existing food production facility and the tremendous support of the city and the state have been key factors in our decision to locate here.”

Company officials hope to start hiring and begin operations at the plant by mid-2012. The annual payroll, once the facility is running at full capacity, is expected to be approximately

$8 million. The Bruss Company will remain based in Chicago, where it operates a 52,000-square-foot facility and employs 300 people.

Bruss supplies national restaurant chains located throughout the U.S., as well as regional chains and major cruise lines. The company marks its 75th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1937 by Samuel and Selma Bruss as Bruss Provision Co. and became part of Tyson Foods in 2001.

Source: The Bruss Co.