Infinite Potential in South Jersey

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Camilo Penalosa said that Infinite Herbs wanted to come to New Jersey—Vineland, in particular—and the nationwide culinary herb producer based out of Florida is bringing more than 100 jobs with them when they set up shop at 2440 N. Mill Road later this year.

The managing director of the Miami-based herb producer says that there were several factors that attracted the company to South Jersey.

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“For years we have wanted to be in New Jersey,” Penalosa tells SNJ Today. “The produce production of the region will help us source local production and be in a new market and it will help in freshness and distribution.

“Also, it may help us expand into new items that some of our customers may be interested in. We have worked with Jersey growers for many years and we have always been pleased and happy,” Penalosa says.

Infinite Herbs will do food processing and packing out of its 30,000-square-foot building currently being constructed on North Mill Road, near Route 55, by development company Stanker & Galetto.

Penalosa says he expects the company to hire in the “low to middle” hundreds of people.

The company hopes to hire workers and start production by late summer or early fall.

“The Mid-Atlantic region is known for its Vineland produce, near highly populated urban entries and of good income,” Penalosa says. “The pay will vary from packing employees, supervisors, and sales/management team, [and] the pay will be based on the market and on the job.”

On April 10, Infinite Herbs won a $6.25 million tax credit grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, giving the company a financial boost in coming to the area.

“It was important,” Penalosa said of the grant. “Any tax break or economic incentive plays an important role in the present business world that we are living in as it’s very competitive.”

When Infinite Herbs was looking for a building, Stanker & Galetto already had one going up on North Mill Road to meet their needs, adding yet another incentive for the company.

“The location is ideal for what we are looking for, is ideal because of its geographic location in the Mid-Atlantic, and with regard to the farms in Vineland,” Penalosa says. “Being able to build a warehouse to your specifications is great as it can help you be efficient and design things as you like.”

Ethan Byler, business developer for Stanker & Galetto says that the company started constructing the building on spec with the idea of meeting the needs of a company like Infinite Herbs. 

“I think in the food community, the word is out about Vineland and its ability to be accommodating to those companies,” Byler says. “We know and understand how to build buildings and leaseback. Vineland has Route 55 and they can get their products out to a majority of the East Coast in 24 hours. That’s a great advantage for the location.”

 Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci says that the city has continued to put itself in a position to attract companies such as Infinite Herbs to South Jersey.

“Selecting the right location is a key component of any strategic business model,” Fanucci says. “Companies must look for the right blend of incentives, workforce, municipal infrastructure, and business climate to be successful. The City of Vineland offers these advantages, and much more.”

Fanucci calls Infinite Herbs a “perfect fit” for Vineland and its ability to service food processors and distributors.

“In addition to the new capital investment and jobs for city residents they will bring, the company offers a wonderful partnership opportunity for local farmers who can help provide the fresh products Infinite’s customers are looking for,” Fanucci says.

“We welcome the chance to work with their management team in whatever capacity they may need, and to making their move to Vineland a smooth one.”

Penalosa says that Infinite Herbs’ concentration lies in all culinary herbs and specialty vegetables, such as sage, cilantro, mint, parsley, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, tarragon, among others. Specialty vegetables the company works with include baby bok choy, radicchio, Belgian endives and Chinese cabbage, among others.

 “We hope to grow by being in New Jersey and find new markets,” Penalosa says. “We have operations in Chicago, Boston and Míami.”

 Byler says by attracting companies like Infinite Herbs and others interested in growing, it will mean more jobs and more growth for South Jersey.

“As far as an outlook, we’re bullish on more of this kind of activity coming to Vineland,” Byler says. “It also helps when the state is willing to put in incentives. Hopefully, we’ll be announcing more good things in the food industry locally.”

Fanucci says Infinite Herbs should help to keep the area at the top of the list when other companies are looking to expand.

“Infinite Herbs joins several other food processing companies, which have also announced expansion plans in the City of Vineland over the past nine months with the support of the Economic Development Authority Grow New Jersey Program, including F&S Produce, Pero Family Farms, and Vineland Poultry, LLC,” the mayor says.

While Fanucci says Vineland officials are excited about the present, they are also building for the future. The city recently formed a public-private partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority and NEP Real Estate to develop a new 285-acre Industrial Park off of Lincoln Avenue. 

“We are transforming an underutilized property into a substantial redevelopment initiative for the city, which will enable us to satisfy current needs and allow us to pursue exciting new opportunities for the future,” Fanucci says.

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