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Giant Eagle Beverage Subsidiary Up and Running

PITTSBURGH - Production has begun at Giant Eagle's recently acquired bottling plant in Latrobe, Pa. The chain acquired the former LeNature's bottling and water purification plant last fall and has since renamed the facility Chestnut Ridge Beverage Co.

The plant has begun production of Giant Eagle-brand bottled water and is also expected to produce flavored water, teas and carbonated beverages. Chestnut Ridge Beverage also is pursuing contracts to produce and bottle beverages for companies other than Giant Eagle, according to press reports.

"The re-opening of the plant is a unique opportunity to immediately assist Giant Eagle to produce its own beverages and to invest in the Latrobe community by providing full-time employment opportunities and contribute to the vitality of the downtown area," Giant Eagle special counsel Dan Shapira was quoted as saying in a statement.

The company expects to hire 50 employees in the coming year, with the potential to add more depending on business growth and demand, according to press reports.

Giant Eagle closed on its purchase of the bottling plant in early October, paying $23.25 million, including $19 million to buy it from Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group of Plano, Texas. The idled LeNature's plant closed in November 2006 after its original owners were forced into bankruptcy.
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