RICHMOND — A company that is the nation’s largest supplier of meal kits has decided to permanently close its Richmond factory in a shutdown that will cut more than 600 jobs.
HelloFresh, which provides meal kits that can be quickly prepared and cooked by the consumer of the food, will close its Richmond factory, effective December 11 this year.
“HelloFresh’s production facility lease in Richmond expires in early 2023,” the company said in comments emailed to this news agency. “After a thorough analysis of our production network, HelloFresh has decided not to extend the lease.”
The factory was also the site of a failed organizing effort in December 2021 and a coronavirus outbreak in the summer of 2020 that sickened 171 workers who said social distancing was difficult due to the cramped conditions. From the factory.
Germany-based HelloFresh, the largest meal kit service provider in the United States, informed state labor officials in a WARN notice that the company had decided to close the plant and remove 611 jobs.
“This letter serves to regretfully notify the California Department of Employment Development that Grocery Delivery E-Services USA, doing business as HelloFresh, will be experiencing a plant closure at its Richmond facility,” Ana said. Garcia, senior vice president at HelloFresh USA, in the WARN letter.
The largest job category affected by the WARN notice was that of production associate. An estimated 389 production associate jobs have been cut.
“The plant closure will be permanent,” HelloFresh said in the WARN notice. The company added: “The affected employees have no bumping rights and are not represented by a union.”
According to postings on Indeed.com, a jobs website, HelloFresh operates three locations in California: Richmond, Pleasanton, and Santa Ana in Orange County. Indeed.com postings suggest that only Richmond is a distribution center while Pleasanton and Santa are office locations.
Robyn Schweitzer, a spokesperson for HelloFresh, said in an email response to that news agency that the company plans to provide meal kits to customers in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the country.
“We will continue to service all of our EveryPlate customers nationwide by leveraging other locations within our production network,” Schweitzer said in the email.
It appears that once the Richmond complex closes, the closest similar facility is in Arizona.
In December 2021, HelloFresh opened a massive distribution center in Phoenix, the company said. The wording of this announcement indicated that the Arizona site would be geographically closest to the Bay Area.
“Joining HelloFresh’s other West Coast facility located in Richmond, the newly constructed facility in Phoenix… could provide up to 1,200 new jobs over time,” the company said in the release.