US-based frozen food and snack maker Ruiz Foods has announced it will shutter a facility in California later this year.

The company said it will cease operations at its Tulare plant at the end of its fiscal year, between 30 August and 13 September.

The factory has 215 employees when it is running at full capacity.

Ruiz said that, after 20 years of service, it has decided that the facility is too small, and requires too much capital investment to meet its manufacturing needs or “remain a viable part of the Ruiz Foods network”.

Kimberli Carroll, CEO of Ruiz Foods told Just Food: “Tulare County is an important community to Ruiz Foods. While we are closing our satellite Tulare plant, we started and grew our business in this area, many of our Team Members are from the area, and our flagship Dinuba plant is here. We have expanded and added plants in Southern California, Texas and South Carolina over the years to better serve our customers across the country, but this area remains a critical part of our production network.”

“The Tulare manufacturing facility has a limited footprint, parking and layout which creates manufacturing challenges as well as increased transportation and storage costs to reach our customers located outside of the West Coast,” said a Ruiz spokesperson.

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It added: “While this is the right decision for our business, we recognise the impact on our valued Tulare team members and will be working to provide support and options during this transition including, for some, an option to transfer to our Dinuba plant.”

The plant was opened in 2004 as an extension of the company’s nearby facility in Dinuba and was originally intended to be a short-term additional capacity option.

Production of the Tulare factory will be absorbed by the other plants, including the aforementioned Dinuba, Denison in Texas and Florence in South Carolina.

The Tulare plant has produced a wide variety of Ruiz Foods products over the years.

Ruiz Foods, headquartered in Frisco, Texas, was founded in 1964. Its brands, including Tornados and El Monterey, are sold in the US and Canada though all distribution channels.

It employs more than 4,000 workers in five manufacturing facilities.

The company promoted COO Kimberli Carroll to president and CEO in January.

Former chief executive Dan Antonelli stepped down from his position to take up the role of executive board chair.

Carroll has spent almost 23 years with Ruiz Foods in different roles.