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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Stafford in running for Irish investment?

Greencore produces items such as salads and sandwiches sold at 7-Eleven.

An Ireland-based company that already employs about 250 people in Stafford County is contemplating a large additional investment at its sandwich-production plant off U.S. 17.

In April, Greencore Group purchased MarketFare Foods, which had long run a plant off U.S. 17 near McLane Mid-Atlantic in Stafford. Items such as salads and sandwiches that are sold in 7-Elevens and other convenience stores are produced at the 52,000-square-foot plant.

Greencore added 52 positions at the local plant following the acquisition and early last month was looking to hire another 35 people in production, order selection, warehousing and truck driving, bringing the total employment number to about 275.

The company is now planning a U.S. expansion after winning a new contract to produce sandwiches. The expansion, which is expected to involve a multi-million-dollar capital investment, could more than double the number of jobs at the Stafford plant. Average wages for the jobs would be about $27,000.

Greencore officials will meet with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at their Dublin headquarters next week as part of his visit to Ireland, confirmed company spokesman Michael Evans. Stafford is reportedly competing with Massachusetts, where the company also has a plant, for the investment and new jobs.

Stafford’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution supporting the potential local expansion Tuesday night following a closed session to discuss the matter.

Evans wrote in an email that the company thinks “there are good opportunities for growth” in Stafford but that “it is far too premature to talk about any specifics.”

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