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Cooking up new opportunities: Georgia International Food Center

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

By Loren Lindler

Milledgeville’s Bobby Parham Kitchen at Central State Hospital is cooking up something special – a major kitchen remodel that will bring new business opportunities for Georgia farmers. This facility, once referred to as the world’s largest kitchen housed at the world’s largest mental hospital, will now be home to the Georgia International Food Center.

At one time, the facility fed more than 12,000 patients at its peak and will soon package food for hospitals, schools, retail clients, and universities, among a variety of other entities. Estimated at a value of $74 billion annually, agribusiness is Georgia’s largest industry, and FoodService Partners is working to assist the already dynamic and growing industry. As they modernize, equip and manage an existing production kitchen, FoodService Partners is working to create jobs, strengthen the local economy and increase the use of Georgia Grown products.

As construction continues, the Georgia International Food Center will soon be ready to take fresh Georgia Grown products and package them for distribution. With the updated facility, their team will be able to carry out cold prep, hot prep, cooking, freezing and chilling products, with the ability to cater to each customer’s needs.

With an award-winning executive chef on staff at the kitchen, customers can develop a menu based on seasonality. Their chef is ready to develop creative and flavorful recipes that meet the customer’s nutritional needs, dietary requirements and budget guidelines.

Construction is expected to be completed in May of this year, and the team will be ready to open its doors in June. The facility is expected to employ 50 people initially, and in the next few years, that number is projected to grow to 200-350 employees.

With jobs available for cooks, office personnel, and shipping, there are opportunities for all. Interested applicants can send resumes through Indeed or utilize the text to apply number (texting FSP to 410-431-1537).  Phone and video interviews will be conducted as the team at the Georgia International Food Center aims to open mid May.

The team is looking to return to a Milledgeville tradition of Sunday meals with the community.Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there will be a public cafeteria in the Parham Kitchen for all to enjoy.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Georgia International Food Center, a summit for food entrepreneurs and prospective clients will be held in early June.

The opening of this impressive facility is an excellent opportunity for employment and a tremendous opportunity for rural Georgia.

To learn more about job opportunities, check out the flyer or visit the FoodService Partners website.

Project Update: June 18, 2020

The team at the Georgia International Food Center is on target to open in the middle of July. The Food & Beverage Entrepreneur Summit has been moved to October 20 & 21. Tickets are still available for the Summit and can be purchased here.

The event is open to all food & beverage entrepreneurs, farmers, future entrepreneurs, media, restaurant & cafe owners, and all business, communications and culinary students.

The days will be filled with motivational and educational speakers, Podcast Participant Awards, introductions to sales channels, meet & greet with Georgia farmers, product collaboration opportunities and a 123,000 square ft Co-Packaging & Culinary Production Facility Tour.

In addition, the Food Service Partners team has decided to complete a food competition as part of the event and will be doing something with farmers as well. They are working on Georgia Grown order guides for the Universities and have completed all the processes to help orchestrate Logistics and Distribution of Agricultural Products, Fresh Products, and Frozen Products.

For more information on the Georgia International Food Center, check out their website.


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