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The history of Tyson Foods in Enid goes all the way back to 1946 with Pierre Foods, founded in Cincinnati, and later in 1973 with Advance Food Co., founded in Enid. The companies merged in 2010 to form AdvancePierre Foods, and, in 2017, Tyson acquired the company in a $4.2 billion deal. (Billy Hefton | Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — In a tale of several food companies uniting, from Advance Food Co. to AdvancePierre Foods and now to Tyson Foods, the manufacturing plants in Enid have a rich history that date back to the 1940s.

The story begins with a young Cincinnati lawyer-turned-chef Samuel Dinerman — and what a last name for a passionate foodie as he was — and his business selling frozen food products to restaurants, according to AdvancePierre’s website, www.advancepierre.com/.

Dinerman’s culinary talents earned him the nickname “Pierre,” and he founded Pierre Foods in 1946, according to the website.

In 1973, another side of the story was being written. Paul Allen and David McLaughlin founded Advance Food Co. in Enid as a manufacturer of hamburger patties and breaded beef.

In 2010, Pierre Foods, Advance Food and Advance Brands merged to create AdvancePierre Foods, and, according to its website, “their individual storylines were woven together with a common thread: the never-ending pursuit to delight customers.”

In 2017, Tyson acquired AdvancePierre in a $4.2 billion deal — $3.2 billion in equity value and $1.1 billion in acquiring AdvancePierre debt — obtaining all of AdvancePierre’s outstanding common shares for $40.25 per share in cash, according to Tyson.

“The acquisition of AdvancePierre was a natural, strategic fit that helped extend our capabilities in new and growing food categories,” said Timothy Campbell, plant manager at Tyson’s Enterprise Plant, Prepared Foods.

Enid, which has been home to the company for almost 48 years now, has seven Tyson locations: the main plant on U.S. 412, a corporate office, a clinic, two distribution locations, a shipping place and a supplier location.

Campbell said Tyson employs approximately 1,500 team members in Enid.

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Tyson spent millions to transform its U.S. facilities to include new safety measures, including walk-through temperature scanners, workstation dividers and social distance monitors, Campbell said.

The company also provided additional team member pay and benefits and hired a chief medical officer and 20 nurses and administrative staff. Tyson partnered with Matrix Medical Network to ensure that the company’s U.S. team members have knowledge about and access to the COVID-19 vaccines, when they become available.

In the future, Campbell said he hopes to see the Tyson company in Enid continue to grow.

“We continue to grow and invest in our facilities in Enid, including the remodel of our Pine Street facility in 2019, which allowed us to add new team members,” Campbell said in the email. “Our goal is to be the employer of choice within our markets and peer groups.”

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Kelci McKendrick is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kelci? Send an email to kelcim@enidnews.com.

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