Castleberry's Food Co. shuts down today

Production at Castleberry's Food Co. will shut down later today, local and corporate representatives confirmed.

The 82-year-old canning company was sold to a division of Hanover Foods two months ago and workers in Augusta have completed production runs during the transition period. Production of Castleberry's products will now be performed by Aunt Kitty's Inc. in New Jersey as the sale did not include the local plant. Terms of the sale were not released.

Castleberry's employed 325 people at the time of the acquisition. A crew will remain in the 15th Street building for post production work, though the number has not been released by the company.

Castleberry's owner, a Toronto-based conglomerate called Connors Bros. Income Fund, decided to sell the Augusta business following a six month strategic review of its meat division. Connors Bros. owns several seafood companies and has owned Castleberry's since 2004.

"It has been a strong beacon for employment here in Augusta," said Walter Sprouse, Executive Director of the Development Authority of Richmond County.

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