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Flower Foods announced Friday that they will open a bakery in Knoxville, eventually bringing in up to 100 news jobs.

The bakery will be located on NW Park Drive in North Knoxville, and is scheduled to open in late May. It will initially employ 60 people, but that number is expected to increase as more production shifts are added.

"I want to thank Flowers Foods for investing in Tennessee, and I appreciate the new jobs being created in Knox County," Gov. Bill Haslam said. "Expansions like this one serve as the greatest endorsement of Tennessee's workforce and today's announcement supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."

"I'm pleased Flowers Foods chose to expand here in Tennessee, furthering our world renowned reputation as a state where the artisan spirit continues to flourish. Whether it's ice cream, M&M's, or bakery foods, Tennessee prides itself on producing high quality goods enjoyed around the United States and the world," Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. "I appreciate Flowers Foods' investment and the additional jobs being created for our communities. I look forward to their continued presence and success in Tennessee."

"We're excited to be opening Flowers Baking Co. of Knoxville," said Gene D. Lord, Flowers Foods executive vice president and chief operating officer. "This bakery will be producing Nature's Own, Merita, and Wonder breads and will help us meet the increasing demand for these breads in a region that encompasses parts of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Virginia."

Flowers Foods is headquartered in Thomasville, Georgia, and is one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States. They produce brands like Nature's Own and Tastykake.

"As we have said since acquiring the Hostess bread assets last summer, our plan is to open bakeries as we need additional production capacity to meet market demand," Lord added. "The Knoxville bakery is strategically located to help us serve the market in this region with great-tasting, high-quality breads."

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