The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

August 1, 2013

AdvancePierre Foods celebrates 40th anniversary

ENID, Okla. — AdvancePierre Foods celebrated a milestone Wednesday.

The food service business celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday.

The company, which has grown tremendously into one of Enid’s largest employers, started July 31, 1973, when Paul Allen and David McLaughlin founded Advance Food Co.

In 2010, Advance Food merged with Pierre Foods to create AdvancePierre.

Allen and McLaughlin had only eight employees to start and had $300,000 in sales.

Now, the company is Enid’s largest employer, with more than 1,800 workers, and had almost $600 million in sales in 2007.

Advance also has seen tremendous growth locally for many years, including the company’s Enterprise facility, which opened in 2008.

The 233,000-square-foot facility cost $84 million to build and added 100 million pounds of production each year.

The company also has tried some different things in terms of employee relations, from health care to help for employees to become home owners.

As big as the company’s impact on Enid has been with respect to the business, it also has been a tremendous corporate citizen, doing plenty of things for many organizations and people.

Probably the most visible sign of that commitment to Enid is David Allen Memorial Ballpark, which was funded by Paul Allen and his wife, Joan, in honor of their late son.

AdvancePierre also is a strong supporter of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, which has an impact throughout Enid by providing funding for its 16 member agencies.

Happy Birthday to AdvancePierre, and we hope for many, many more anniversaries.

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