Greater Hall Chamber Announces New Industry

Project organizer and Gainesville native Steve Williams announced the development of Eskimo Cold Storage, a cold storage facility that will primarily serve the poultry industry, at the May 25 Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Director Meeting. Construction begins in the next few weeks for the commercial freezer located on Highway 129 about five miles south of Gainesville.

The $15 million Eskimo Cold Storage operation will create over 40 new jobs. Eskimo’s facility will be approximately 125,000 square feet with the capacity to store over 14,000 pallets of frozen food products.

”We welcome Eskimo Cold Storage as a new member of the Gainesville-Hall County business community,” said Tim Evans, Greater Hall Chamber Vice President of Economic Development . “This company will contribute good jobs, a significant investment and new business-to-business opportunities for area goods and services. We are very pleased the investors have committed to locate this business on 129 South in Gainesville-Hall County.”

Steve Williams has over 20 years experience in the cold storage business and formerly served as the CEO of Georgia Freezer Company. Georgia Freezer was sold to Atlas Cold Storage in 1998. Williams will serve as President and CEO of Eskimo Cold Storage.

Williams stated, “The poultry industry has been one of the foundations of the Northeast Georgia economy for decades. I am excited about this opportunity to get back in the buiness, and I look forward to working with some of my old friends again. We intend to operate a world-class business with the facility, equipment, and technology to best serve our customers and provide a great enviroment for our employees.”

Williams noted that the facility’s Highway 129 South location – in the triangle between Interstate-85 and Interstate-985 – as the ideal location to serve potential customers. Eskimo also plans to utilize Lanier Technical College’s Quick Start program for the training of employees prior to the opening of the business in early 2007.

“The Quick Start Training Program and the Ammonia Refrigeration training program available through Lanier Technical College weighed favorably in our consideration to start this new business. We are appreciative of the support we have received from the economic development efforts in the community,” said Williams.

Williams noted that he could not have started the business without the many resources available here in Gainesville-Hall County. “It is not enough to just have a good idea and the desire to succeed. You also have to find the resources to get things done,” said Williams.

David Lathem, a local egg and cattle producer and President/General Manager of Lathem Farms, Inc., and Jeff Reedy, a self-employed business consultant, assisted in the organization of the business. Some 25 local investors provided the equity capital through a limited partnership. Wachovia will provide banking services, and Jerry Williams is the legal counsel. Barclay Rushton, CPA, is the accountant for the business. John W. Rooker and Associates will serve as general contractor for the project. Merritt Contracting of Gainesville has begun the grading of the property.

For additional information on Eskimo Cold Storage, please contact President/CEO Steve Williams at 678-316-2844.