Company to invest $1.4 million, create 45 new jobs
Little Rock, AR — Cooks BBQ Products, a provider of eco-friendly premium natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks, and pellets, announced it is opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pindall, Arkansas (Searcy County), under the name Ozark Mountain Wood Products LLC. The company will invest approximately $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand into Arkansas,” said Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products. “Arkansas is the ideal location for us thanks to its central location and abundant natural resources that go into our products.”
Products made at the Arkansas facility will include wood chips, wood chunks, pellets, logs, firewood, and barbecue charcoal. Cooks BBQ Products are sold nationwide under the Coshell brand and private labels in such stores as Trader Joes, Publix, Albertsons, and Ace Hardware as well as Amazon.com. In addition to its new location in Arkansas, Cooks BBQ Products operates manufacturing facilities in Lake City, South Carolina, and Monterrey, Mexico, as well as distribution centers in Laredo, Texas, and Winchester, Illinois.
“Arkansas has a long history of nurturing small companies,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “I am confident that Cooks BBQ Products will find the components it needs to prosper and become part of our state’s growing business momentum.”
Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products, has over 10 years of experience in the barbecue industry. In 2009, Elbaz built a plant in Thailand and came to market with an eco-friendly charcoal made from coconut shells under the brand Coshell Charcoal. As the company grew, Elbaz opened a distribution facility in the Philippines and purchased an existing plant in Mexico, expanding into a full line charcoal manufacturer and adding production lines for the manufacturing of wood chips and wood chunks. With the current climate and focus on manufacturing domestically for “Made in USA” products, the focus of Cooks BBQ Products has shifted to open multiple domestic plant locations to meet a booming demand.
The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce provided valuable assistance to both Cooks BBQ Products and AEDC during the process that resulted in a sizable jobs increase for Searcy County.
Created in 1955 to make Arkansas more competitive in the post-World War II era, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout The Natural State. It includes the Arkansas Film Commission. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively.