Comarco Products, a long-standing leader in the food service industry, struggled with their ability to grow their operation from their headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. After years of dealing with remediation issues and burdening taxes, Comarco made the decision to relocate and ultimately settled on Palatka in Putnam County.
“It was a tough decision to leave our home of 32 years, but we knew we needed to move,” said Tom Hoversen, president of Comarco Products. “Our plant was showing signs of age and it was impossible to find a way to build out and modernize in the business climate we were in. I Googled “North Florida economic development” and started talking to people in my industry about new locations.”
After searching the Southeast for the ideal long-term location, Comarco settled on Florida since it gets most of its eggplants from Florida and the state had the available space and talent required to house their operations. The company leadership found the ideal site for their manufacturing plant in Palatka, located approximately 60 miles south of Jacksonville along the St. Johns River and known for its support of large-scale operations.
Comarco now runs their business in a 52,000-square-foot building and has 125 employees in the area. Their plan is to run three production lines out of the facility, which also serves as the company’s headquarters. They have also started on an expansion that will include a freezer which can hold 1,200 pallets of frozen products, automated equipment and new state-of-the-art conveyor lines.
“The people and business community in Palatka have truly been welcoming and completely supportive,” added Hoversen. “We could have not asked for a better situation both professionally and personally. I can’t say enough good things about Palatka and we know that relocating to Northeast Florida was the right move.”
About Comarco Products
Comarco Products was established in 1978 and is the largest producer of battered/breaded eggplant in the country. Comarco offers co-pack customers an opportunity to form long-term strategic partnerships, transparency on pricing and a long record of customer retention.
Comarco currently produces three products for the food services industry – fried eggplants, jalapeno peppers and ravioli. All products are shipped frozen. They process more than 7 million pounds of eggplants annually. Their 52,000-square-foot building was able to be completely customized for their needs as they moved their operation to Palatka.
“We found a building in Palatka that was perfect for us, but more than that the people of Northeast Florida were committed to making our relocation successful and have made us feel right at home. We looked at several places and really found our home in Northeast Florida. We now have the ability to expand our operation and continue meeting the needs of our customers from a place that is supportive of our efforts.”
- Tom Hoversen, President