French maker of ice-cream and coffee-stir sticks will open in Corbin after Bevin's European trip

06/30/2016 04:43 PM

After embarking on a European economic development trip in April, Gov. Matt Bevin announced on Thursday that a French ice-cream and coffee-stir stick manufacturer is opening its first North American manufacturing facility in Corbin.

Bevin’s office said in a news release that Euro Sticks Group has agreed to open a 90-job facility with an initial investment worth $15 million, with the region’s abundance of beech trees helping draw the French company to Corbin.

The company, which will open its Kentucky branch as North American Sticks, is expected to manufacture up to 2 billion ice-cream and coffee-stir sticks each year at its 57,600-square-foot facility.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority recently approved Euro Sticks for tax incentives worth up to $3 million, according to the news release. The company can also get help through the Kentucky Skills Network, which gives businesses free recruitment and job-training services, reduced customized training and job-training incentives.

“When I met Euro Sticks’ leaders and toured their flagship facility in Saint-Sauveur, France, I left with two distinct impressions,” Bevin said in a statement.

“First, was the company’s commitment to safety and quality. The pride they take in every facet of their operations is clearly evident. Second, I returned home with a realization that we needed to do everything possible to ensure Euro Sticks’ first plant in North America would be located in Kentucky. Today, we are excited to welcome the financial commitment and new jobs to Eastern Kentucky.”

Frederic Debacker, Euro Sticks’ owner, said his company looks forward to helping boost Kentucky’s economy.

“Abundant beech resources and the availability of quality manpower were major factors in our decision to locate our new plant in Kentucky,” Debacker said in a statement. “We also received a warm, professional welcome from the local Corbin team.”

The company’s decision to open a facility in Corbin will expand its manufacturing footprint to the Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey, plus distribution centers in Mexico and Australia.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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