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Dignitaries gathered on Potato Roll Lane near Interstate 75 Tuesday to help Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe celebrate during the official “going vertical” ceremony for its new building.

The 186,000 square foot facility, scheduled to produce its first roll off the production line on Oct. 1 of this year, is said to be ahead of schedule in construction. The construction company has begun to lift the tilt concrete panels in place, bringing the facility one step closer to completion.

“You will see this area evolve from nothing to a building in the next 10 days,” said Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Executive Vice President Ron Gipe before leading ceremony attendees out to the construction site to view workers lifting and transporting concrete,
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a total of 8,500 cubic yards. “I’m just thrilled with the participation of Elkins (Construction Company), as well as the citizens, to ensure that we are on time and within budget. It gives me chills to think about the dedication put into this project.”

This facility, located on a 40 acre site near the airport and Exit 13, will employ an initial 150 member workforce and will house a state of the art,
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combination potato bread and roll line. The family owned and operated company remains headquartered in Chambersburg, Penn., where it began in the 1950s in the kitchen of the Martin home located in the heart of “Pennsylvania Dutch” country. The idea to market a family recipe that had been handed down through generations was conceived by Lois and Lloyd Martin. As the demand for their product steadily increased over the company’s first 20 years, the bakery moved into the Martin’s Family Restaurant before finally building a production plant in 1978, where the family continues to do business today.

Martin’s continues the tradition today as the “original” potato roll manufacturers producing a line of potato roll and bread products that are distributed up and down the East Coast. Their current location forces their drivers to travel 1,100 miles one way to deliver their product to the Georgia and Florida markets.

According to Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe President Jim Martin,
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the taste of the bread is especially appealing to southern communities, which made Lowndes County an excellent location for the facility, beating out Adel and Lake City, Fla. due to available labor pool and quality of the city’s water supply.

“The local community has been very supportive and we feel like we’re home,” Martin said. “We are currently working with the Department of Labor to recruit managers. Several members of our leadership team have also expressed interest in moving to assist with this facility.”

Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe will go on record as one of the top five industrial investments ever made in the area. Martin’s is expected to bring a variety of jobs with average wages of $52,000 per year,
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making them one of the top five highest paying employers in the county.