Castleberry's Food Co. shuts down today

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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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jimbobob
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jimbobob 11/14/08 - 10:25 am
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I feel sorry for the

I feel sorry for the employees, hope for better future. Castleberry's demise was created just like Circuit City's was.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 11/14/08 - 11:17 am
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Wow all those years what a

Wow all those years what a pillar Castleberry was, I remember walking past it everyday going and coming back from school. I wonder how long will they keep the structure up?

jimbobob
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jimbobob 11/14/08 - 11:26 am
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I wish they could have sold

I wish they could have sold it back to Bob Kirby, to keep it local

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 11/14/08 - 12:12 pm
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Time marches on and

Time marches on and businesses come and go. New businesses have come to the Augusta area to replace the vacuum left by the closing of the mills and Castleberry's and other businesses. As potential employees, it's up to us to keep our skills in demand, to be a desired commodity on the job market. The more prepared we are, the luckier we'll be.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen 11/14/08 - 01:08 pm
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What jobs have you seen

What jobs have you seen Patricia?

jillpeterson
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jillpeterson 11/14/08 - 01:48 pm
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I second Concerned Citizen's

I second Concerned Citizen's question. What jobs have you seen, P. Thomas? Because they're probably not manufacturing jobs. Especially not manufacturing jobs that workers can get to without a car.

me too
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me too 11/14/08 - 06:08 pm
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It's easy to be flip when

It's easy to be flip when your job isn't in jeopardy. I just hope all of the people who have seen their jobs disappear through no fault of their own find new employment before they lose everything they own. It seems everyone is a few paychecks away from disaster these days.

SMHwhatamessthisis
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SMHwhatamessthisis 11/14/08 - 11:58 pm
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she haven't seen none...all

she haven't seen none...all i'm seeing is places closing left and right.

Ben There
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Ben There 11/17/08 - 01:55 pm
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I can't imagine a plant in

I can't imagine a plant in New Jersey, with higher labor and fixed cost getting canned meat product out the door at a lesser price than the Castleberry's plant. Maybe the plant could reopen and focus on private label products and start a line of Clem's BBQ!

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