SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2013) Sarasota-based Redi-2-DrinQ is expanding in Sarasota by adding 25 employees over the next three years and investing approximately $7 million in facilities and manufacturing equipment in its new facility.
The company, a division of PPi Technologies Group, also based in Sarasota, is moving into a 100,000-square-foot facility at 1712 Northgate Boulevard, Sarasota, from its previous location at 1610 and 1611 Northgate Boulevard. PPi Technologies manufactures machinery for stand-up pouch containers used to deliver drinks and foods.
Redi-2-DrinQ provides both stand-up pouches and beverages, including its own brand, ShotPak, and distributes them in 12 states with more in the pipeline. The pouches are a cleaner, safer, more environmentally friendly alternative to bottles or plastic cups for draft beer.
Drug store giant Walgreens has tested the company’s ShotPak cocktails and STR8UP spirits in Florida stores with positive responses and is considering expanding the offerings. Redi-2-DrinQ is entering talks with Publix, Wal-Mart, Costco and CVS. The product already is sold globally in Canada, England, France, Norway and Sweden and is conducting trials in Germany and Spain with talks proceeding in China and the Philippines.
PPi Technologies Group sells its stand-up pouch and zipper machinery nationally and worldwide. It has manufacturing joint ventures with SN Machinery of Germany, Nishibe Packaging Systems of Japan, Cellpack of Switzerland and Leepack of South Korea, along with sales offices in China.
All of this growth has led to the need for the expansion that includes $2 million in new manufacturing equipment. The company, started in 1996, has been in 25,000 square feet. But it is quadrupling its size in the new facility. When fully operational, the new facility will be able to produce one billion pouches annually.
Redi-2-DrinQ executives prefer the location in the Sarasota area, near the Manatee and Tampa Ports, in close proximity to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and Tampa International Airport, with access to Interstate 75, said R. Charles Murray, CEO of Redi-2-DrinQ.
PPi Technologies was seriously looking at South America for its new manufacturing facility, but remaining in an English-speaking country, with the extensive transportation options here, and tax incentives offered by the state of Florida and Sarasota County, helped keep the firm’s manufacturing facility in Sarasota.
“We are delighted to help a home-grown company like PPi Technologies Group stay and grow in Sarasota, adding jobs and diversifying the economy,” said Sarasota County Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason.
The Sarasota County EDC helped guide the company through the tax incentive process. “The assistance provided by the EDC has proven to be the competitive edge that we were looking for,” Murray said. “The incentive dollars will be a key factor to assist in expansion and plant equipment that is critical to meet our growth needs. Our company expansion will include increased sales and will allow us to grow at a double-digit pace.”
This performance-based incentive will provide the company $3,000 per employee for 25 new employees over the next three years. The maximum tax refund is $75,000 — 80% paid by the state and 20% by the county. The Board of County Commissioners also approved an earlier application for Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for 57 % for 10_ years.
“Helping high-quality companies such as PPi Technologies remain and grow in Sarasota County is one of our primary goals as an organization,” said Mark Huey, EDC president and CEO. “We are thrilled to see them thriving.”
The EDC of Sarasota County is the private, not-for-profit corporation leading the community’s economic development strategy to add high-wage jobs and diversify the local economy. The EDC provides business assistance to companies in Sarasota County and helps forge solutions to community challenges that affect quality of life. The EDC works in partnership with chambers of commerce, local governments and other organizations throughout the county and the region. For more information, visit www.edcsarasotacounty.com.