By Maria Jose Subiria
QuikTrip Corporation, best known for its mega gas station/convenience stores, has brought one of its latest business ventures to Clayton County, and with it -- 227 new jobs.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new QT Kitchens, located at East Clayton Drive in Ellenwood, was held Tuesday.
The corporation invested $23 million in the facility, which is actually a bakery, and a commissary, that will produce sandwiches, and other baked goods, for the 115 QuikTrip stores expected to be operating in metro Atlanta by the end of the year.
It is expected to produce 30,000 pastries and 3,000 sandwiches a day, and will start production next week.
Company officials said the corporation owned land north of Atlanta (Jefferson, Ga.), but chose Clayton County to house the new QT Kitchens -- the fourth in the nation -- because of its accessibility to transportation corridors, major highways, and its proximity to Atlanta.
"We felt that Jefferson, Ga., was too far away, and we've dealt with them in the past," said Pete Conlin, construction manager for QuikTrip Corp. "Clayton County has good tax, and training, incentives," he said.
The decision to locate the QT Kitchens in Clayton has the county's business and political leaders beaming. "There are great things happening in this country and county, and Clayton County is becoming a preferred logistics hub in the region," said Grant Wainscott, the county's director of economic development.
Before construction of the facility began in February of 2008, QuikTrip officials shared their ideas and plans with Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton, in whose district the project is located.
According to Conlin, Singleton worked closely with QuikTrip, and that collaboration helped produce a facility that is expected to benefit the company and the county.
"This is kind of like a first child for me ...," said Singleton. "As a county commission, we act as a whole, as a betterment for this county.
"The message we want to send to our residents here in Clayton County," said Singleton, "is that we know economic times are hard for many people, but we are working, night and day, to bring jobs and investment to our county, just like the QT Kitchens project."