Former Jerome Brown Barbecue Sauce Plant Will Be A Gift Inside Fulfillment Center | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

Former Jerome Brown barbecue sauce factory, a company that ended with prison sentences for two former city council members, has a new purpose – fruit and gift baskets.

A Gift Inside plans to open an e-commerce gift basket packaging and shipping fulfillment center in time for Mother’s Day at the warehouse in northwest Jacksonville.

Alex Meier, director of production for A Gift Inside in California, said the company will hire about 10 people on April 14 and could triple that in peak season.

“One of the reasons we focused on this area is because of the fantastic variety,” said Meier of the perishable product range throughout Florida, as well as the far west and north of Jacksonville.

It can reach Florida, Georgia, and Alabama the next day, and two days north to Michigan and New York, and west to the Colorado border.

A gift Inside, baskets and boxes with fruit, sweets, nuts, cheese, meat and snacks are sent. It will be shipped if orders are placed for delivery within two days.

The company is headquartered in Lodi, California, and ships to the 50 US states.

The Jacksonville Building on Commonwealth Ave. 5638 will be the company’s fifth facility and will focus on delivery across the Southeast.

Some boxes from A Gift Inside, which are also used to make gift baskets. On, dried fruit and nut gifts range from $ 24.94 to $ 89.95. The company also offers fresh fruit, chocolates, and more.

The first four plants are located in California, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York.

It is also sold through under the brand name Golden State Fruit.

A gift inside uses United Parcel Service, FedEx and other senders.

It also works for other fulfillment companies, whose identity Meier says he was unable to reveal.

Meier oversees the production of A Gift Inside on the east coast of the USA. Angel Adelizzi moved from Pennsylvania to Jacksonville as General Manager.

A gift inside designs the interior in such a way that space is created for expansion.

“We have many options and would like to expand the Jacksonville site,” said Meier.

Plant acquired

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, owner Tagg Ventures LLC bought the 34,237-square-foot Commonwealth building in December for rent to A Gift Inside.

Tagg Ventures LLC paid $ 1.55 million for the property. The First National Bank of Pennsylvania funded the deal with a $ 1.16 million mortgage.

Manager George Loudon Jr. filed the name Tagg Ventures LLC with the state on December 15th.

Tagg bought the property from 5638 Commonwealth Avenue LLC, whose manager David M. Hicks Jr. intended to open a hummus manufacturing facility there. Hicks, who had changed these plans, could not be reached for comment on the sale.

Hicks, a Jacksonville investor, acquired the property in June 2017.

The nearly three and a half acre site is located on Commonwealth Avenue and Ellis Road North. The structure was built in 1985 and had several uses before it was set up for the barbecue sauce company.

Hicks bought the building at auction through 5638 Commonwealth LLC. He paid $ 1.3 million for the property and barbecue sauce equipment.

Hicks assumed the title of SBA approved lender, BizCapital BidCo I LLC, which was banned from CoWealth LLC and Basic Products LLC, the companies that operated Jerome Brown Products.

CoWealth LLC bought the building in 2012 for the Jerome Brown branded barbecue sauce facility.

Former Jacksonville District 8 councilor Katrina Brown, daughter of Jerome Brown, co-owned the barbecue sauce business.

A federal grand jury sued Brown and former District 10 councilor Reginald Brown in May 2018 without charge of conspiracy to commit postal and wire fraud in connection with the use of a Small Business Administration loan to finance the manufacture of Barbecue sauce contributed to the operation.

A jury found her guilty on several counts. US District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced Katrina Brown to 33 months in prison and Reginald Brown to 18 months.

Why Jacksonville?

Plans for a Gift Inside show production, shipping and receiving, storage and future production space.

Crabtree Construction Co. is shown as the contractor and RAM Architecture is the architect.

According to Loudon, the gift basket company was looking for locations on the east coast of Florida on April 13 and settled in Jacksonville, primarily because of its proximity to the lower east of the United States

The A Gift Inside facility at 5638 Commonwealth Ave., about a mile east of Interstate 295. It was the former Jerome Brown barbecue sauce factory.

According to Loudon, the broker helped Shaun Mayberry identify the website. Mayberry is Vice President and Asset Acquisitions Manager at Prime Realty.

“When we came down we were looking at a number of properties in the Jacksonville area. That ticked all the boxes, ”said Loudon.

Loudon said the Commonwealth location was near Jacksonville International Airport, which Meier said aids in both distribution and travel between locations.

According to Meier, the location also offers flexibility for e-commerce orders when other plants could face weather problems.

A Gift Inside hires production workers for $ 12 to $ 13 an hour.

“We’re looking for motivated people to join our team to help fulfill gift basket orders at our new Jacksonville facility,” read a post on the company’s career link.

It is said that full-time and part-time positions are available to select, manufacture, package and label gourmet food in gift boxes and baskets.

Meier said the gifts were hand-assembled, sorted and palletized for the carriers.

A room known as the red room because of the color of its floor is used for strawberries with chocolate icing and apples with caramel chocolate.

The shifts are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with additional hours and days during the main times of Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

A gift inside says on that it has grown and packaged fruit for more than 50 years, and created Golden State Fruit in 2009 “to bring the best of our handpicked fruits from our orchards right to your doorstep,” including pears.

In 2013, the company opened Farmstead Gourmet in Pennsylvania to expand its range of cheeses, candies, and sweet and savory side dishes.

It bought an artisanal chocolate company and developed CY Chocolates. It also sells its LoveBerries chocolate-iced strawberries.

In 2015 the brands were combined to create “A Gift Inside”.

The company also sells Branch to Box, a subscription to fruit crates delivered to offices.

“We are here for the long term,” said Meier.

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