Cooks BBQ to open plant in Searcy County, add 45 new jobs

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 198 views 

Cooks BBQ Products announced Thursday (Dec. 28) it is opening a manufacturing facility in Pindall (Searcy County), under the name Ozark Mountain Wood Products. The company will invest approximately $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs.

The company produces eco-friendly premium natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks, and pellets.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand into Arkansas,” Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products, noted in a statement from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Arkansas is the ideal location for us thanks to its central location and abundant natural resources that go into our products.”

Products made at the Arkansas facility will include wood chips, wood chunks, pellets, logs, firewood, and barbecue charcoal. Cooks BBQ Products are sold nationwide under the Coshell brand and private labels in such stores as Trader Joes, Publix, Albertsons, and Ace Hardware and Amazon.com.

In addition to its new location in Arkansas, Cooks BBQ Products operates manufacturing facilities in Lake City, S.C., and Monterrey, Mexico, as well as distribution centers in Laredo, Texas, and Winchester, Ill.

“Arkansas has a long history of nurturing small companies,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “I am confident that Cooks BBQ Products will find the components it needs to prosper and become part of our state’s growing business momentum.”

In 2009, Elbaz built a plant in Thailand and came to market with an eco-friendly charcoal made from coconut shells under the brand Coshell Charcoal. As the company grew, Elbaz opened a distribution facility in the Philippines and purchased an existing plant in Mexico, expanding into a full line charcoal manufacturer and adding production lines for the manufacturing of wood chips and wood chunks.

With the current climate and focus on manufacturing domestically for “Made in USA” products, the focus of Cooks BBQ Products has shifted to open multiple domestic plant locations to meet a booming demand, noted the AEDC statement.

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