The Coastal Companies, a business based in Laurel, Md., will expand its regional presence this year at the 123,575 square-foot building previously occupied by Russell Stover Candies in Ruther Glen.

Coastal Sunbelt Produce officials said the company will hire 50 employees over three years, invest approximately $6 million and house its truck fleet serving the facility in Caroline County. Its average salaries will exceed the county’s annual average, and it will provide benefits for its full-time employees, they said.

Founded in 1992, The Coastal Companies is a distributor of fresh produce and dairy and a leading regional processor of fruits and vegetables. It and its subsidiaries, Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh, Cold Chain Logistics and Cold Chain Imports, operate a fleet of 185 trucks and deliver daily to customers across six states and the District of Columbia. The company also serves major retail customers along the East Coast.

The Coastal Companies operates a 330,000 square-foot facility located between Baltimore and Washington. The Caroline County distribution center will be its second operational facility.

“We are pleased to announce the opening of our second distribution center and we are excited to be partnering with Caroline County.” stated John Corso, President and CEO of Coastal Companies, in a news release.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Clay Forehand, who represents Madison District, and Mattaponi District Supervisor Floyd Thomas both said the company is a welcome addition to the county.

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Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407