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Lincoln Lures Licorice

Friday, February 4, 2005

It’s another sweet deal for the Lincoln County Industrial Park. Licorice-maker Australian Manufacturing Inc. announced Thursday it will open its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Industrial Park. The company will invest over $4 million and initially employ 20 people. Officials hope that number will eventually grow to 50. Headquartered in Revesby, Australia, the company is a manufacturer of “Aussie Soft Licorice” under the trade name Lucky Country. Lenka Dransfield, president of Lucky Country, wanted to be in North Carolina and felt Lincoln County was her best option. “Everything I need for my business to be successful is at my fingertips in Lincolnton,” she said. The Lincoln facility will be the company’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. Australian Manufacturing will move into a 60,650 square foot shell building in the park, making it the second company to make such a move. Last year, tortilla-maker R.W. Garcia Company Inc. moved into another of the park’s shell buildings. “Australian Manufacturing’s lease of our second shell building is proof positive that the Lincoln County Industrial Park casts a very wide net in the market,” said Alan Lewis, industrial development partner with The Keith Corporation. “I commend Lincoln County and the Lincoln Economic Development Association for everything they have done to make this park a success.” Australian’s announcement comes less than two weeks after the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved over $69,000 in incentive grants to entice the company. The money will be paid out in equal installments over a five year period. “We are pleased to welcome Australian Manufacturing to Lincoln County and the opportunities they represent for employment of our citizens,” said Tom Anderson, commission chairman. “We believe they will find Lincoln County a very business friendly environment where they can enjoy success and future growth.” Aussie Soft Licorice is Australia’s largest selling licorice. Today Lucky Country’s red, black and allsorts licorice is distributed to large scale retailers, supermarkets and boutique fine food retailers. The licorice can be found in shops such as Dean & Deluca, Target and Trader Joe’s.

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