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Poultry company approved for larger facility
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Soulshine Farms, a Gainesville poultry company, is hoping to expand operations – and double employment – in a move to new, larger building off Memorial Park Drive near Gainesville.

Update, Jan. 28: A poultry company that could double its workforce with a move to a new, larger location got approval Thursday, Jan. 28, from the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

A Gainesville poultry company’s proposal to move to a larger building across town, doubling its workforce, was recommended for approval Monday, Nov. 16, by the Hall County Planning Commission.

Soulshine Farms’ plans now go before the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a public hearing and final action Dec. 10. 

Soulshine Farms, now at 2411 White Sulphur Road, is seeking to get approval from Hall County to occupy a building at 2118 Centennial Drive, off Memorial Park Drive near Gainesville.

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Hall County records show that the Centennial Drive property has ties to Almark Foods, an egg processing business. Ruan Transportation and Almark “previously held business licenses at this location but are currently both expired,” according to a Hall County planning staff report.

“Because (Soulshine Farms’ proposal) is a change in use from egg processing to poultry processing, we wanted to bring this before you,” said Sarah McQuade, Hall County planning director, to the planning board.

Soulshine “states that this business is a poultry processing supplier specializing in intermediary processing of raw chicken into finished poultry products for further processing,” according to the staff report. “The facility does not process any living poultry products and all processing in finished raw poultry products.” 

The plant would operate in three shifts all day Monday through Friday, “with business on weekends as needed,” the staff report says. 

Soulshine currently has about 300 employees. That number could increase to 500 or 600 in the move, said Michael Farmer of Soulshine Farms.

He said if all goes well, “we’d like to get in there right after the first of the year, possibly February or March.”