Texas Pete maker opens $20 million distribution center and warehouse in Winston-Salem

TW Garner Foods Co. on Tuesday unveiled a $20 million investment that not only represents a new distribution and warehousing center, but also deepens the company’s Winston-Salem roots.

Garner, the maker of Texas Pete hot sauce, Green Mountain Gringo and other products, purchased a 31-acre site at 4729 Lansing Drive in Forsyth County in 2021. The site, north of Smith Reynolds Airport , had served as the maintenance headquarters of Winston -Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Garner Foods foodservice team members, left to right, Kate Sickrey, Edie Adams, Nikki Green and Dan Plunkett take a photo in front of large tubs of aged peppercorn mash inside the new facility at The company’s Lansing Drive during a visit on Tuesday. Maker of Texas Pete sauces and Green Mountain Gringo chips hosted a groundbreaking ceremony and tour of the 168,000 square foot warehouse for its employees.

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Garner also owns a factory at 4045 Indiana Ave., a building off North Point Boulevard, and a 14,500 square foot corporate headquarters in the Nash-Bolich Building on Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

Tuesday’s groundbreaking event on Lansing Drive was the culmination of what Garner officials describe as two years of planning and development.

“This is a huge step forward in helping us build product inventory and improve material handling efficiencies to position Garner Foods to meet the growing demands of our customers,” said Ann. Garner Riddle, CEO and President of the company.

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Garner Foods Lansing Drive Facility

Garner Foods employees Nick Anthony and William Lambert examine multi-purpose storage shelves inside the company’s new Lansing Drive facility.

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Garner said the facility will provide “much-needed expansion and enhancements” to the warehousing and distribution of Garner Foods products, given that the company “has experienced historic growth in demand for its Texas product lines. Pete and Green Mountain Gringo”.

“Our investment in the future of our business is a direct result of the loyalty and commitment our customers and employees have shown to our products over the years,” Riddle said.

Heyward Garner, Garner’s chief operating officer, said the facility renovations will allow the company “to operate more efficiently than any of our other facilities.”

Garner Foods Lansing Drive Facility

Texas Pete products are stacked inside Garner Foods’ new Lansing Drive facility.

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“In terms of sustainability, the new building allows us greater flexibility in material handling, which reduces the number of touch points we have with our raw materials and finished products.”

Heyward said the company is pleased the facility is helping to broaden the city’s tax base.

“We will expand our distribution and handling footprint, which will bring new training and potential employment opportunities to our community,” Garner said.

Garner Foods Lansing Drive Facility

Bins of mashed aged peppers, ready for production, are stored at Garner Foods’ new Lansing Drive facility.

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Mark Owens, president and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem Inc., said he had been assured by Garner that it remained attached to its downtown headquarters and would not move it from downtown.

“Garner Foods has a rich heritage here in Winston-Salem, and I’m glad to see it continue to grow,” Owens said. “It’s exciting to see the new building with its ability to expand and to know that the community has supported this business for nearly 100 years, and vice versa. I appreciate Garner Foods’ continued investment here.”

When Garner moved downtown in 2016, the company made it clear that it wanted to raise its culinary arts profile.

Garner Foods Lansing Drive Facility

New 168,000 square foot Garner Foods warehouse at 4729 Lansing Drive.

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Because the company’s proposed new site is near the airport, arranging the sale required approval from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the NC Transportation Department.

Front Street Capital, a Winston-Salem firm involved in commercial real estate investing, has completed the deal, which would include paying Forsyth County $1.55 million for the property.

Virginia C. Taylor