Perry, FL – Super-Pufft Snacks USA, a private label snack manufacturer/distributor in Perry, Florida, revitalized the community in 2017 when they purchased a vacated manufacturing facility that had recently left 250 full-time employees without a job. The loss of a major employer led the City of Perry to reduce their budget by 6% and increase taxes; a devastating blow to a low-income community with a median household wage 62% of the Florida state average and more than twice the percentage of people living in poverty.
Super-Pufft USA commenced operations in October 2018 at 70% capacity functioning with outdated equipment and costly mechanical issues. The company considered downsizing or relocating. In 2019, Rural Development Partners provided Super-Pufft with $21.5M in NMTC financing to purchase new equipment, which retained 122 jobs and added 275 new jobs. The project added five additional production lines for popcorn, extruded snacks, fabricated chips, tortilla chips and veggie straws.
All of Super-Pufft’s created and retained jobs are significantly above the living wage and include a full suite of benefits. Of the 397 total jobs, 95% are accessible to low-income persons with a high school degree or equivalent, and all have access to employer paid training through the local community college.
SuperPufft partnered with RDP to provide the $215K grant for educational and workforce development initiatives in Taylor County. The funding helped implement a Drone Pilot Program and provided drone simulators to support entrepreneurs and add value to existing employees in the community. The funds are also helping students to receive their GED through Big Bend Technical College. Finally, the grant is helping North Florida College establish a CDL Program and Taylor County High School to implement an Early Childhood Education program.
Super-Pufft Snacks USA’s CEO/President, Mahmoud Amrouch shares, “Thanks to this investment, Super-Pufft was able to not only expand our operations and create jobs in our community, but also expand our partnerships. Business leaders today can’t simply operate in a community they must also be a partner in community development.