A sea of blue-shirted staff welcomed city, school and county officials Wednesday morning to the new LaCore Lab facility opening soon in Van Alstyne.
LaCore Lab owner and CEO Terry LaCore spoke with the welcoming crowd at the 150,000 square-feet plant inside Cold Springs Industrial Park, discussing their excitemetn to be moving their pick, pack and ship plant from it's current location to Van Alstyne, a move made necessary because of the business expansion they are experiencing. They are expected to employ more than 100.
LaCore Lab manufactures neutraceutical products for various companies, and these products include health products such as powders, gels, liquids, protein shakes and energy drinks, one very specific sleep powder drink and other specifically-patented KETO product, Terry LaCore said. They also manufacture, under contract with the product companies, an AC-11 DNA repair product, cosmetics, night and day creams and more.
City officials there for the introduction gathering included Grayson County Judge Bill Magers, Van Alstyne Mayor Larry Cooper, Van Alstyne ISD incoming and outgoing superintendents David Brown and John Spies, respectively, heads of the local Economic Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce, City Council, school board and various city departments. In all, a warm reception for LabCore and its crew.
Terry LaCore talked about the products and his business after the reception. He said LaCore Enterprises purchased the building, which had been empty for only about three months, and is leasing it to LaCore Lab, which has and will retain its corporate office in Melissa. They have in-house chemists and sister companies who are developing the technologies necessary. They also acquire other technologies or formulas as they recognize the need.
“We do not have a marketing department, we are a contract manufacturer,” LaCore said. “We develop the product and wait for someone to come to us.”
There are no retail sales, but employees do have the advantage of discounted pricing, he said.
While their products will be distributed under other brands, there will be a statement on each label, “Produced by LaCore Labs in Van Alstyne Texas,” LaCore said.
Reasons to relocate to Van Alstyne
The relocation process began in January, said Van Alstyne EDC President Randy Uselton, when LabCore's real estate agent spoke with the former property owner. LaCore said that they didn't want to go farther north than Van Alstyne, and looked at properties in other towns within about a 15-mile driving radius of Melissa and their corporate office.
“We needed a facility with at least 100,000 square feet,” LaCore said. “We found this one with 150,000 square feet and it's already got water, power, all the services we need, plus police and fire protection.”
But the clincher, LaCore said, was when he learned that Van Alstyne has a Triple Freeport Tax Exemption, an advantage to manufacturers that the EDC obtained several years ago.
“That was a very important factor,” he said.
Useton said that once LaCore obtained the property, EDC Director Jodi Carr began working with them, answering questions and finding solutions to what could have been time-consuming situations. Instead, they got their certificate of occupancy and are now in the process of redefining the building's interior to fit their manufacturing needs.
“Between EDC and the city … I would rate them as an A+, literally,” LaCore said about the relocation process. “They have been extremely responsive, and are excited to see good, decent jobs come to town. Everyone has gone above and beyond, even returning phone calls at 7 p.m. at night, rather than just during office hours.”
LaCore Lab timetable to open
“Right now, at our facility in Carrollton, we are packing and shipping about 90,000 orders per month,” LaCore said.
He said the company will soon begin hiring for the pick, pack and ship needs, for mid-June start-up. Those job opportunities will be listed through the EDC website, VanAlstyneEDC.com.
“Our real employment will be in our manufacturing department, beginning in October” LaCore said. “But, it will be January before it is fully up and running.”
That is when they will close down the Carrollton facility completely.
Impact on Van Alstyne
Even the improvements on the new LaCore Lab facility will have local employment, LaCore said. He is planning on hiring and using local businesses to step up the building's air conditioning, plumbing and construction.
LaCore said that, of course, the city will receive more now in property taxes, and told the crowd that the business is happy to have room on its newly-acquired property to add another building, when the need arises. The business also plans to hire local, but he stressed that would include workers who would be willing to make the drive to Van Alstyne from outside the city.
He always takes his administrative staff to eat lunch every day, too, and has already taken up to 15 people to eat at a few of the local restaurants. That will continue. Plus many employees will be eating, buying gasoline, shopping and such in Van Alstyne.
And, LaCore said, his company already plans to support the local education foundation.
“We give lots of scholarships,” he said. “And we'll be supportive of youth sports and community events.”
LaCore said he was pleasantly surprised at the Thursday morning turnout.
“We didn't expect anything like it was, we didn't think this was a big deal,” he said. “That was nice.”
Uselton and Carr said the EDC has several other properties they are actively marketing now.
“We have multiple other prospects with which we are working now that could positively effect the future growth and economy in Van Alstyne,” Uselton said.