GIA Distillery Inc. Locates in Downtown Madison

First product launch and tastings planned late May

The Town of Madison and the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism are excited to announce that GIA Distillery Inc. has located in downtown Madison and will be opening in late May. GIA is an Italian themed distillery with plans to produce bourbon whiskey, grappa and cognac.

The company is located in the former railroad depot at the end of Murphy Street formally occupied by Piedmont Distillery and is upfitting the building for production space and a tasting room. The front part of the building will house a small tasting room and gift shop area where people can also purchase bottles of the products. GIA hopes to have the tasting room open in late May on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. GIA anticipates it will create about five jobs within the next year.

“We see Madison as a small version of Asheville, NC. There is a large population in north and northwestern Guilford County who would much rather drive roughly the same distance as downtown Greensboro,  to Madison to experience coffee shops, breweries and distilleries.  Making Madison a destination benefits not only the town but also helps expose the broader benefits of Rockingham County,”  said Mark Sorrells, GIA Managing Partner.

GIA will launch its first product, Jordan’s Cabin, around June 1st. Jordan’s Cabin is Madison’s first bourbon whiskey that is named after the historic Jordan Cabin located adjacent to GIA Distillery.  Jordan Cabin, built in 1799, is an historic landmark in Madison that sits on the original plot of land that formed the town.  GIA plans to eventually offer tours of the cabin as part of the visitor experience to the distillery.

Within the next year, GIA plans to launch a cognac style brandy and its Grappa de Francesca, an Italian style brandy made from a 200-year-old recipe from Trieste in Northeastern Italy.

“Mark and his business partner have been working extremely hard over the past year to turn the historical railroad depot that has been sitting idle for a long time, into GIA Distillery.   We are extremely happy that they chose Madison as their initial headquarters and we know that GIA Distillery will be a great addition to Downtown Madison. We look forward to their grand opening during our Bi-Centennial year,” said David Myers, mayor of Madison.

“We are happy that GIA Distillery chose to locate in Madison and Rockingham County. It will be a great asset in attracting more investment and visitors to our community, especially once the tasting room is open,” said Ken Allen, assistant director of business/economic development for the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.

The label for Jordan’s Cabin features the image of the historic cabin that is still located on the original plot of land that formed the Town of Madison.

Southern Finishing plans expansion in Stoneville

The Town of Stoneville and the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism are pleased to announce that Southern Finishing Company, Inc. plans to expand its local operation. The company will create 54 new jobs and invest $1.48 million in building upfit and new machinery and equipment in Stoneville.  This expansion will take place over the next five years, in two separate phases.

As a supplier to the furniture industry, Southern Finishing has been operating in Rockingham County for 40 years.  The company manufactures furniture and cabinet components, such as prefinished mouldings, accessories, panels, doors, kitchen and bath cabinet components, and bedrails. It partners with manufacturers such as American Woodmark, Marsh Furniture, Armstrong Cabinets, Quality Cabinets and Thomasville Furniture.

Southern Finishing has its headquarters and four manufacturing facilities in Stoneville. It currently has 161 employees in Rockingham County in addition to over 350 employees in its other locations in Virginia and Arizona.

“The Town of Stoneville is excited to see Southern Finishing’s growth. The company has been an excellent corporate citizen since 1978 and we are pleased that they have chosen to continue their success here,” said Kenneth Gamble, manager of the Town of Stoneville.

“I am excited to announce the expansion of one of our existing industries, Southern Finishing. This comes on the heels of the expansion announced last week with Albaad and it is further proof that our focus on business growth and retention is paying off. Southern Finishing has been a valuable employer and community supporter for 40 years now. We appreciate the company’s dedication to Stoneville and Rockingham County,” said Jan Critz-Yokeley, director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.

Local officials celebrate Albaad expansion

From Rockingham Now
by Joe Dexter, staff writer

Local officials are celebrating international manufacturer Albaad’s announcement to invest $45 million in expanding its manufacturing efforts in Reidsville.

Instead of expanding in Kentucky or Rhode Island, the Israeli company has agreed to renovate its current facility on Technology Drive in Reidsville and move into a second local facility, with hopes of purchasing the former Ball packaging plant on Barnes Street.

The governor’s office announced Tuesday that Albaad’s expansion will have a major economic footprint in North Carolina, Reidsville and Rockingham County.

Outside of 302 new jobs by 2022, officials estimate that the expansion could improve North Carolina’s economy by $810 million over the course of 12 years.

The growth is facilitated in part by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee on Tuesday prior to the announcement.

Under the agreement, Albaad USA could potentially receive over $3.6 million in reimbursements over the 12-year span.

The plans of expansion locally come after a more than a year’s worth of collaboration among state, local and company officials.

“Without a doubt, the teamwork of the City of Reidsville, the county and state were instrumental,” said Rockingham County Commission Chairman Kevin Berger in a news release. “On behalf of the citizens of Rockingham County, I want to thank Governor Cooper, Senator Berger and Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland for their role in landing this expansion for the City of Reidsville and Rockingham County.”

The expansion adds to the biggest work industry in Rockingham County. According to a 2017 economic overview published on the county website, over 20 percent of workers locally are in the manufacturing sector.

Based on numbers printed in the 2017 Rockingham County Industrial and Business Guide, the addition of 302 workers to the current workforce of 225, would make Albaad the biggest industry and business employer in the City of Reidsville.

State officials said those jobs could include a bevy of positions in the company, including engineers, technicians, production and logistics personnel.

Salaries for the new positions will average $38,300.

It has not been made public what type of incentives have been offered to Albaad USA.

The Rockingham County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on May 7 to approve or deny some type of incentives deal or performance agreement.

It’s unclear if what’s presented by County Economic and Tourism Director Jan Critz-Yokeley will be a mutual agreement with the City of Reidsville.

Albaad continues a string of successful business expansions across the county over the last year and a half.

Charlie’s Soap opened a $1 million logistics and office center in Stoneville, while keeping manufacturing operations in Mayodan.

Plastic Revolutions, a full-service plastic recycler in Reidsville, expanded its plant by agreeing to spend $600,000 on new equipment while creating 35 new positions.

Stoneville-based TigerTek announced a $530,000 expansion of machinery and equipment. TigerTek, which specializes in repairing electric and servo-motors, also shared plans to create four full-time jobs.

Reidsville also saw the investment of $450,000 into the former Reidsville Armory building by Elevated Environmental Corporation – an environmental, demolition and industrial services company that made the decision to combine existing facilities in Greensboro and Reidsville. The move also came with the creation of 10-20 full-time positions.

On Monday, Critz-Yokely will present the county commission a mutual performance agreement with the Town of Stoneville and Southern Furnishing that could lead to investment of more than $800,000 in machinery, equipment and building improvements, while employing 54 additional full-timers over the next two years.

She said it feels good to announce the Albaad expansion after the hard work put in by state, county and city officials, in conjunction with the community college system and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina – an effort that she believes helped put together the best proposal to compete with the other sites in the running.

“It’s almost like a very detailed symphony,” Critz-Yokely said. “You have to orchestrate everything in the order it has to be in. Communication is vital. If you don’t communicate, then there can be a misstep and the client loses out and the community loses out.”

She added that a strong focus on business growth and retention has led to a strong organic growth of business locally and that local communication plays a major role in growth opportunities.

Reidsville Economic Development Director Jeff Garstka believes that Rockingham County and Reidsville are poised for real economic development growth in the upcoming year, because of an established business-friendly climate.

Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker concurs.

He said that Albaad’s expansion, like the announcement of Love’s Travel Stop, gives county and city officials another piece to place in the puzzle they are constructing to create even more opportunity.

“We expect several more announcements this year,” said Donecker. “We appreciate everything Albaad does for our community.”

Gov. Cooper announces Albaad USA to expand in Rockingham County

Albaad USA, Inc., a multinational manufacturer of wet wipes and other hygiene products will expand its U.S. operations in Reidsville, creating 302 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.  The company will invest $45 million to produce additional lines of personal care products in Rockingham County.

“International manufacturers appreciate North Carolina’s outstanding business climate and our strong focus on education and workforce training,” said Governor Cooper. “Today’s announcement is more proof that North Carolina is the place for companies from around the globe to grow and succeed.”

Albaad USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Albaad Holdings, with headquarters in Israel.  The company maintains manufacturing facilities in Israel, Germany, Poland, and the United States. The company produces products in two broad categories, wet wipes and feminine hygiene.  Leading products include baby wipes, cosmetics and household wipes, and tampons.

“We are very pleased to continue expanding our Albaad USA business in Reidsville,” said Gidi Tenne, Plant Manager for Albaad. “We continue to build on a great workforce, culture and community that supports advanced manufacturing jobs in Rockingham County. This merging of technology and a strong, creative workforce is the foundation of our success and we look forward to continued growth in the future.”

“In 2004, I was part of the team that recruited this outstanding Israeli company to North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “It’s been a great pleasure to watch their growth over the years, and we congratulate Albaad as they expand and add jobs once again.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) led the state’s support for the company’s expansion.

Albaad will add a variety of positions with this expansion, including engineers, technicians, and production and logistics personnel.  Salaries for the new positions will average $38,300, which is higher than the current Rockingham County average wage of $34,620.

Albaad’s expansion in Rockingham County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project will grow the state’s economy by an estimated $810 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,688,200, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.

Because Albaad chose to expand in Rockingham County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving nearly $410,000 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. When new jobs are created in a Tier 2 county such as Rockingham, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state. More information on the state’s economic tier designations is available here.

“I am deeply grateful to Albaad for its loyalty, commitment and ongoing contributions to Rockingham County.  It is a testament to the high quality of our local workforce that this company, which could have gone anywhere, chose to expand its operations in Reidsville,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger. “I am also grateful to Gov. Roy Cooper for his very wise decision to nominate Tony Copeland as his Secretary of Commerce and I’m very proud of the productive working relationship we have on economic development.”

“Many economic development partners worked together to bring this investment to Reidsville,” said N.C. Representative Kyle Hall. “These community partners will continue to collaborate with Albaad to help the company succeed now and for many years to come.”

City and County officials are excited about Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement Tuesday that local industry Albaad will be creating more than 300 jobs and investing nearly $45 million as part of its expansion plans.

Albaad is located in the Reidsville Industrial Park. The Israeli company, which currently supports 225 jobs in North Carolina, will add the new 302 jobs over a three-year period as it expands to a second physical facility in Reidsville.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Reidsville and for Albaad,” said Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker, who spoke at the Governor’s press conference along with Kevin Berger, Chair of the Rockingham County Commissioners. “It is one piece of the puzzle, starting with Love’s Travel breaking ground a few weeks ago. We anticipate several more announcements this year. We appreciate everything Albaad does for our community.”

County Commission Chair Kevin Berger agreed. “We are excited to have Albaad expand in Rockingham County,” Chair Berger said. “Without a doubt, the teamwork of the City of Reidsville, the County and State were instrumental. On behalf of the citizens of Rockingham County, I want to thank Governor Cooper, Senator Berger and Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland for their role in landing this expansion for the City of Reidsville and Rockingham County.”

“We feel that Reidsville and Rockingham County are poised for real economic development growth over the coming year due to our location and business-friendly climate,” said Reidsville Economic Development Director Jeff Garstka. “We love to get new industries here but we are also delighted when our existing industries make plans to build on their presence here.”

“We are thrilled with Albaad’s success in our community and extremely grateful for the company’s investment here,” said Jan Critz-Yokeley, Director of Economic Development & Tourism for the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.  “It was a true team effort by the State, Reidsville and County to secure this expansion when the company had the choice to go elsewhere.  Albaad is a leading example of advanced manufacturing and we look forward to the company’s continued success in Rockingham County.”

The announcement by Governor Cooper  is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of discussions between the company, State and local officials about Albaad’s plans to expand.


Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the EDPNC on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, Rockingham County, the City of Reidsville, The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism, and the City of Reidsville Economic Development Department.