Morrilton Packing Company is investing $2.1 million in an expansion of its Morrilton operations. The project is estimated to add 34 new jobs.
Morrilton Packing, the parent company of Petit Jean Meats, announced Monday (Dec. 11) the expansion, saying employment will total more than 100 when the work is finished. The expansion will help the company add a new line of snack sticks.
“Morrilton Packing Company has called Arkansas home for almost a century,” David Ruff, Morrilton Packing president and CEO, said in a statement. “The Petit Jean Meats brand is known throughout the state for its taste and quality. This expansion would not be possible without our loyal customers and our dedicated employees who believe in this company.”
Petit Jean Meats has been family-owned since its founding in the 1920s by Felix Schlosser, shortly after he immigrated to Arkansas from Germany. Morrilton Packing operated a wholesale business and a retail market until closing the retail shop in 1943.
It is the only privately owned red-meat processor still operating in Arkansas. The company produces ham, bacon, sausages, hot dogs, and sandwich meats including bologna. The bacon and hams are still smoked in climate-controlled smokehouses for 18 hours with real burning hickory.
“Arkansas has a proven track record in creating a climate that helps businesses succeed,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement provided by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “We have a workforce that is second to none, and I’m excited when companies like Morrilton Packing recognize this and choose to invest in our state and our communities.”
While Morrilton Packing sells its meat online across the country, most of its products are sold to retail and food service locations in Arkansas and Texas.